Nielsen Charts U.S. Streaming Trends


According to data from the latest Nielsen Total Audience Report, 60 percent of U.S. consumers subscribe to more than one streaming service and 93 percent say they will keep or increase their subscriptions.

Consumers in OTT-enabled homes spend about 19 percent of their viewing time on streaming platforms, Nielsen reports, across AVOD and SVOD services.

By service, Netflix is out front at 31 percent of streaming video time, ahead of YouTube’s 21 percent, Hulu’s 12 percent and Amazon’s 8 percent, with 28 percent of streaming time spent on other services.

Cost remains the most important attribute for retaining or acquiring a subscription (84 percent), followed by ease of use (81 percent) and variety and availability of content (79 percent). Other key factors include playback quality (77 percent), speed (74 percent) and accessibility/search of desired content (71 percent). Nielsen reports that 52 percent cited the ability to skip ads as an extremely important factor, and 48 percent wanted an ad-free service. In addition, when asked about what made them cancel a paid video subscription service, 42 percent said they didn’t use it enough to justify the cost.

On why consumers would subscribe to additional paid services, key drivers are expanding the content they have access to (47 percent), watching shows they used to view on TV and can’t find anywhere else (37 percent), watching a program they’d heard about (37 percent) and accessing original content exclusive to a streaming platform (35 percent).

“Content has always been king, but with the growth of streaming, content creators and rights owners are effectively given more power,” Nielsen said. “Platforms must be able to maintain the programs that audiences want while offering compelling new ones to keep them interested. Wherever good content goes, subscribers will follow. When that content runs out, don’t be surprised when some of the subscribers do too: 20 percent of consumers said they canceled a service after watching all the content that they were interested in.”