Roku Survey Says Streaming Industry Has Passed a “Tipping Point”

(Image credit: Roku)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Roku’s annual survey of TV viewing habits finds that the pandemic accelerated the shift to streaming is continuing with more than half of viewers reporting they are still viewing more content this summer, thanks to the growing amount of programming on streaming platforms, ease of use and cost savings. 

The survey found that  one in four consumers cut the cord in the last year and they pay $49 a month for video services versus $121 a month for pay TV services. Notably it also found that 23% of boomers cut the cord in the last year, indicating that the trend has spread from younger to older groups.

More than half of all boomers (51%) added more streaming services in the last year and 46% of boomers now have three to five streaming subscriptions, about the same rate as younger generations. 

However, younger groups are still more avid streamers, with 98% of Gen Z  streaming versus 71% of boomers. 

“Amid a year of uncertainty, this survey puts data behind what we at Roku have believed since our founding in 2002: all TV will be streamed,” said Anthony Wood, Roku founder and CEO. “These results show that TV streaming has passed a tipping point. Even more exciting, it’s bringing more people together, starting new conversations, and giving viewers of every generation more of the content they love, while also making it more accessible. TV streaming is here to stay.”

The survey found that 42% of those surveyed watched live sports on streaming versus 62% on pay TV, a record high for the annual survey. 

While nearly two in three consumers plan to go to a movie theater in the next year, nearly three in five have streamed a new movie release at home in the last year. 

Ad-supported streaming services were also widely embraced, with seven in ten saying they have ad-supported services. 

AVOD users were more likely to be cord cutters and they spend more time watching TV. 

The National Research Group conducted the survey on behalf of Roku, producing data that expanded on previous years’ annual “cord-cutting” studies.

Between July 24 and July 30, 2021, on behalf of Roku, Inc. NRG surveyed online 2,852 18-70 year-olds in the U.S. who watch at least 5 hours of TV per week via traditional pay TV (i.e. cable, satellite, or telco service) or a streaming service.

George Winslow

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.