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Study: Half of Viewers Will Wait for TV Shows to Land on Streamers

SANFORD, Fla.—Today’s TV viewers don’t seem to mind being patient waiting for their favorite show to come back, but they may have issue waiting week to week for new episodes. This is one of the findings from a recent study by ItsWorthMore that looked at TV viewing habits in the streaming age.

According to a pool of more than 900 respondents, 53% said that they will wait to watch new seasons of shows until they are available on streaming platforms. Among the reasons given for this was that 67.4% wanted to be able to binge-watch the entire season, while another 67.4% said it was to avoid commercial breaks. Other factors included the ability to watch a show at any time, the ability to pause the show and the fact that it is often cheaper to stream. “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Walking Dead” were two examples of shows that fans will wait to come on streaming.

The study also found that among viewers who started to watch a show on TV, 42% switched to watching in on a streaming platform. Another 32% say they watch shows exclusively on streaming platforms, with those subscribing to Hulu being the most likely to do so.

ItsWorthMore also noted that the interest in streaming can be partially attributed to the improvement in phones, tablets and computers to present programs in high quality.

The move to streaming also could have an impact on the advertising industry. For some of the top shows on TV, which often demand the biggest advertising dollars, of the 65% of viewers who started watching on TV, 14% of them shifted to watching on streaming platforms. If the advertising rates were adjusted based on viewership, ItsWorthMore says that networks could lose more than $19 million per season in ad revenue.

Other findings from the study indicated how viewers perceive the production quality and diversity of offerings between traditional TV and streaming, and how they learn about new shows.

“Streaming affords more convenience and control, and many viewers are willing to wait to enjoy their favorite shows on digital platforms,” wrote ItsWorthMore.

“If network and cable channels aim to remain relevant, they must do more than move their content online. Indeed, they must create shows worthy of devoted audiences—and compelling enough to stand out in a saturated media environment.”