Horowitz: Share of Streaming Overtakes Traditional TV Among Adults


According to a new report from Horowitz Research, adult TV viewers spend 57 percent of their viewing time streaming, compared to just 39 percent on traditional TV.

Horowitz defines “traditional TV” as MVPD-delivered live, VOD, DVR and antenna viewing.

After exponential growth in the adoption of streaming between 2010 and 2016, the share of adult TV viewers who stream at least some of their TV content has plateaued for the past three years at around 65 percent.

Among the two in three adult Americans who stream, however, there is a growing reliance on streamed content. According to the FOCUS OTT & SVOD 2019 report—which covers over-the-top subscriptions, behaviors around streaming and profiles of OTT users—the share of streamers who stream more than half of their TV content viewing has risen from 57 percent in 2018 to 66 percent in 2019.

The ability to stream to the TV is playing a role in today’s cord-cutting trends. The study shows that people who do not subscribe to an MVPD (a traditional cable or satellite service) are much more likely to stream to the TV set than to any other device, “underscoring the fact that TV content and the TV experience, in general, are still important, even while viewers are questioning the value proposition of pay-TV as it has been traditionally packaged, priced and delivered,” the firm states.

The study finds that people who still pay for cable or satellite TV service are more likely to spread their viewing across a variety of different devices. “These viewers are streaming not as a replacement of traditional TV platforms, but to complement them by expanding their viewing opportunities,” Horowitz says.

“The streaming environment will become increasingly cumbersome to navigate—and more expensive—with media companies like Disney and NBC launching their own streaming apps and removing their content from Netflix and other platforms,” commented Adriana Waterston, Horowitz’s senior VP of insights and strategy. “We keep hearing from consumers that they wish there were a service they could subscribe to, to pay one price to access all the content they want and have it organized all in one place, but that they can watch anytime, anywhere, on any screen. In a sense, consumers want an MVPD service, but with the convenience, control, portability, flexibility, and value for the money they get with streaming.”