Users increased the time they consume content on the screen, mainly due to streaming. These habits did not decrease despite the lifting of the restrictions generated by the pandemic. This is revealed by the latest report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Streaming Viewers Aren’t Going Anywhere.
The research showed that consumers have subscribed to at least three streaming services since the start of the pandemic and are still subscribed to them..
Audience remains concentrated in four main video on demand (SVOD) subscription services: Netflix (approximately 70% of respondents use or pay for Netflix), Amazon Prime Video (59%), Hulu (41%) and Disney+ (36%).
For its part, HBO Max, which launched in May 2020, has a user penetration that is now around 20%. Additionally, the report concluded that sports content and add-on platforms are at the highest risk of cancellation by users.
The effects of the pandemic are far-reaching and are here to stay. 55% of respondents said they spend more time watching content through streaming services than they would if it hadn’t been for the pandemic.
The report also indicates that users are more likely to get their streaming recommendations from friends and providers. 74% of respondents selected friend recommendations as a top reason behind content selection.
In turn, 43% of respondents rated these recommendations as the main reason. Meanwhile, 68% of consumers select their content from what providers suggest with some tools like “see below”.
“It is clear that streaming is here to stay and that the new platforms are at a key moment to gain an advantage. Even so, all their efforts must be focused on satisfying the expectations of the viewers, since the choices made by the user are mainly influenced by the recommendations of friends, in addition to what the provider offers”, assured Cristián Carafí, Managing Director & Partner of BCG.
The survey results suggest some issues that streaming platforms need to consider when retaining their audience:
1. Customer retention is paramount, especially in reference to new users. Viewers have many options. Change is easy and the will to do so is high, especially when it comes to non-core services.
2. Content is still king. Viewers consistently report that interesting shows bring them to the platforms they watch. They will keep their subscriptions if the platforms offer more content that they want to see.
3. Viewers look to service providers for suggestions about what to watch next, which underscores the importance of giving these choices.
4. Being free can help. AVOD (Advertising Video on Demand) services are a content delivery model where the user has free access to videos but these clips contain advertising inserts, as occurs in Tubi and Pluto. Services of this type, which are supported by the advertising model, continue to be an option.
Since AVOD services often don’t win with new premium content, but instead satisfy their user base with varied video libraries, many players offer a tiered pricing model that leads to paid, ad-free viewing. This could also be an opportunity for smaller SVOD companies to diversify their revenue streams and grow their user base.
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