Survey: Nearly Half of Super Bowl Viewers Plan to Stream the Game

Super Bowl
(Image credit: NFL)

DENVER, Colo.—The digital marketing agency Adtaxi has released a new survey showing an accelerated shift towards streaming. It found that nearly half (49%) of consumers planned to stream the Superbowl and that two thirds (64%) of consumers choose streaming as their preferred method of content consumption. 

The Adtaxi annual “Consumer Streaming Trends and Super Bowl Viewership” survey also reported that one third (33%) of Americans plan to cancel their cable subscription in 2022. 

“It is no surprise that consumers are favoring the convenience of streaming services,” said Chris Loretto, executive vice president of Adtaxi. “The results of the survey underscore the importance of capitalizing on digital audiences and is a continuation of years-long consumer trends towards convenience, cost-efficiency, and personalization in media consumption.”

The survey shows that the percent of Americans still paying for cable services has fallen below 40%, down from over 50% just 3 years ago and that only 36% of cable subscribers are turning to cable first when they turn on the TV. 

The intention to cut the cord also seems to be accelerating, with 33% of Americans saying they plan to cancel their cable subscription in 2022, up from 31% in 2021 and 28% in 2020.  For those wanting to move away from cable, 22% claim they like the option of “binge watching” shows and 27% want to watch on their own schedule. 

“We can anticipate continued declines due to viewing preferences and cost, the multitude of streaming-capable devices over TV sets in the home, and increased competition directly from streaming services. Comcast alone lost 1.5 million TV subscribers in 2021,’ said Adtaxi director of research, Murry Woronoff. ”It is clear that cord-cutting will continue moving forward and we can expect it to continue at its current brisk pace in 2022.” 

In contrast the survey found high levels of engagement with streaming, with 92% of respondents stream some form of TV/Video content. The majority do so through either Connected TV (64%), followed by Smartphone/Mobile (54%) and/or Laptops (38%). 

In addition, nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers make streaming their default setting – the first thing they check for content. One-third of TV streamers obtain 100% of their TV/Video content from such services and 77% of TV streamers get the majority (over 50%) of their content via streaming services.  

When it comes to viewing advertisements on streaming services, 33% of Americans believe the ads are more applicable to their personality and preferences. That beats cable (13%) and broadcast TV (10%) combined. 

When asked what streaming services consumers had used in the past 30 days, 71% had used Netflix, 63% used Amazon Prime, 53% used YouTube TV, 44% had used Hulu and Disney+, and 32% had used HBO Max. Out of all the services listed (30), the majority of respondents (38%) said Netflix was the outlet they use most often followed by YouTube (14%). 

This shift towards streaming was also highlighted in the survey’s findings regarding Super Bowl viewership. A slight majority of viewers (51%) plan to watch the Super Bowl on broadcast or cable TV, but digital will account for 49% of the total Super Bowl audience due largely to TV Streaming. 

The survey also found that the big game is a cross platform event, with 46% of Americans saying they will interact with various forms of digital media while watching the game. 31% state they will be using social media, 15% will be on a sporting website, and 8% will be using online forums. 

Similar to 2021, the majority of Americans will be skipping larger social gatherings. 43% of Americans plan to watch the Super Bowl either alone or with family at home, while 11% plan to throw a watch party, and an additional 11% plan to attend one. The survey also found that only 3% of consumers plan to watch the game from a bar or restaurant. In total, only 25% of Americans plan to watch the Super Bowl outside of their homes.

“With all eyes on Super Bowl LVI, these survey results offer insight into how marketers should maximize their reach. With nearly half of Americans (46%) utilizing digital media while watching the big game, it will be important for marketers to prioritize multiple platforms,” added Loretto. “The key to resonating on these social and streaming platforms will be a voice and strategy that is highly adaptable to changing circumstances and evolving preferences.”

This survey was conducted online using Survey Monkey among a national sample of 1,127 adults spanning across U.S. geographic regions, income levels, gender and age, with Super Bowl viewers represented by the 772 respondents who indicated they plan to consume the Super Bowl. The survey was conducted on January 14th, 2021.

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.