Nielsen’s consumer attitude insights on streaming video

19 per cent of TV time is being spent on OTT; viewers are also price sensitive


MUMBAI: Streaming video is becoming increasingly crucial for Indian legacy broadcasters, as GenZ continues to spend an increasing amount of time on video apps, watching their favourite shows. But the business is not easy, burning away ginormous amounts of capital. Customer acquisition is expensive, and keeping them engaged even more so. Viu is one of the first casualties in this space, having exited from its India play.

Hence, any user studies - no matter from which part of the world - are useful to get some insights into how the customer is reacting to the plethora of choices on offer. Recently, US-based research agency launched Streaming Wars - a special edition of its Nielsen Total Audience Report. 

The report revealed that US consumers in OTT-capable homes are spending 19 per cent (nearly one fifth) of their TV time streaming content, be it through ad-supported or paid subscription models.

“That’s a hefty amount of the already large media diet of audiences today, especially considering that the medium has only existed for a relatively short period of time. Not to mention, it’s a prime opportunity to easily reach consumers in the digital age, using interfaces that feel familiar and comfortable to them,” the report has advised.

Nielsen has also noted that 60 per cent of Americans subscribe to more than one subscription video on demand service and 93 per cent of them have stated that they will increase or keep their existing streaming service.

American consumers like the rest of the world, lay a great emphasis on price; in fact, it is the single most important attribute for a quality streaming service, Nielsen’s report highlights. In fact, when asked about what made them cancel a paid video subscription service, 42 per cent said they didn’t use it enough to justify the cost.

User-friendly interactivity plays a key role for streaming services and ranked second in consumer importance. Frustrating user experiences or hard to navigate interfaces may not bode well when it comes to subscriber retention, especially when the internet has cultivated a culture of convenience and consumers have a bevvy of other media choices available to them. Of course, content is also of major importance for consumers, as the variety and availability of it placed in the top three of video streaming attributes, Nielsen reported.

While there are myriad attributes that make a streaming service attractive to users, the content is what ultimately gets them to type out their credit card number and hit “Enter.” The top four reasons as to why survey participants decided to subscribe to additional streaming services were all content-based, with the top reason being to expand the content that they had available. 

Content has always been king, but with the growth of streaming, content creators and rights owners are effectively given more power. Platforms must be able to maintain the programs that audiences want while offering compelling new ones to keep them interested. Wherever good content goes, subscribers will follow. When that content runs out, don’t be surprised when some of the subscribers do too: 20 per cent of consumers said they cancelled a service after watching all the content that they were interested in.

The Nielsen report revealed that Netflix is the numero uno in the streaming space, with it accounting for 31 per cent of American consumers, YouTube was number two with 21 per cent, Hulu no three, with 12 per cent, Amazon No 4, with eight per cent. The remaining 28 per cent was accounted for by the rest of the streaming services.

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