Consumers Spend Only One Third of TV Viewing Time on Traditional Platforms

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(Image credit: Pixabay)

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.—A new report from Horowitz Research documents just how radically viewing patterns have shifted in recent years with viewers now reporting that they only spend one in three hours using traditional platforms and that the majority of their viewing time is spent streaming.

Horowitz Research’s latest "State of Viewing and Streaming 2022" report also found that the streaming ecosystem continues to fragment. 

The survey found that streamers use an average of 7.1 services – around 4.3 subscription and 2.8 free services — in a given month to stream full-length TV content. 

With the cost of streaming subscriptions rising, the researchers also reported that the demand for free, ad-supported content is increasing. Usage of both AVOD and FAST services have increased substantially since last year, with YouTube remaining the top free service used for TV content, closely followed by Pluto TV and Tubi.

Overall, Netflix still commands the largest share of viewing with almost a quarter (22%) of streaming reportedly done through the platform. However, Netflix’s share has dropped dramatically from about 39% in 2018 as more services vie for consumers’ eyeballs and engagement.  

With so many new services to keep track of, the study found that consumers are demanding managed and consolidated services to improve the streaming experience. 

Two-thirds of streamers would like universal search capabilities across all their streaming services (66%) so they could manage all their streaming subscriptions in one place (65%).  Six in 10 (58%) would like to see consolidation of the myriad streaming services to mitigate the confusion they are experiencing.

Many consumers are also excited about potential enhancements to streaming platforms that would enable more interactive experiences such as accessing content beyond TV shows or movies (57%), being able to shop for products seen in shows directly through their phone or remote (48%), and being able to virtually socialize with friends/family while viewing content together (41%).

“As the streaming space evolves, platforms that will dominate will offer the best user experience,” explained Adriana Waterston, chief revenue officer and insights and strategy lead for Horowitz Research. “That will help consumers be more efficient at finding great content to watch, that will help them manage skyrocketing costs, and that will deliver  benefits beyond viewing, whether that’s shopping, socializing, or other new ways of interacting with content, brands, and other viewers,” 

The full "State of Viewing and Streaming 2022" report provides analysis of TV content viewers 18+ (watch 1+ hours of TV/day).  The survey was published in May 2022 in English among 2,200 adults. Data have been weighted to ensure results are representative of the overall TV universe. The report is available in total market, FOCUS Latinx, FOCUS Black, and FOCUS Asian editions.

(Image credit: Horowitz Research)
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.