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Research / Insights on current and emerging industry topics

The market is flooded with streaming options. But are consumers satisfied?

July 14, 2020 | By Rande Price, Research VP – DCN

As more media companies enter the streaming video marketplace, consumers are presented with more choices and content. The good news is that, overall, consumers value the video subscriptions they subscribe to. Hub Entertainments’ annual Monetizing Video report finds that 62% of viewers feel they get at least a “good” value from their TV subscriptions. Hub’s research was conducted with over 2,000 broadband users, age 16-74, who watch at least 1 hour of TV per week.

Significantly, holding subscriptions in high esteem is not necessarily a side-effect of Covid-19. While lockdowns helped drive viewership and overall value, we have seen high levels before shelter-in-place orders. In fact, DCN’s Digital Subscription Economy research showed that 64% of consumers reported their subscription(s) offer high value.

Valued services

Across the different video/TV services consumers use, streaming services topped the list in terms of value for the money. Seven in 10 rated Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime as excellent or good value for the money. Boasting deep libraries of content, streaming are convenient and appealing entertainment resources. In contrast, only four in 10 consumers ranked traditional pay-TV as a good value for the money.

Consumers estimate they spend $94 per month for all their TV subscriptions combined. However, they believe they should only pay $72 per month. It is interesting that, even though they are paying $22 more each month, subscriptions services are still perceived as a good value.

Actual vs. reasonable price

Breaking down the payments across the television categories, traditional pay-TV subscribers (no SVOD) are the most likely to feel their total TV bill is higher than reasonable. They estimate they are paying $106 for their subscriptions but think they should only pay $69. The actual vs. reasonable gap is $37 more than they think they should pay.

Pay-TV only (including SVOD) subscribers estimate paying $107. However they think they should only pay $79, making the actual vs. reasonable gap $29. Consumers paying for streaming-services only (no pay TV service) estimate they are paying $60 and think they should only pay $54. This is the only cohort that thinks they are paying the appropriate amount.

Consumers ranked the kind and amount of content a platform offers right up there with pricing as the most important features. Least important features included both recommendations and notifications.  

Streaming theatrical releases

Accessing theatrical releases at home is of high appeal among adults 18-34 years old. In fact, 63% of young adults, a key target audience in the theatrical movie business, say they definitely/probably would pay to stream a movie at the same time it’s released in the movie theater. Consumers 35+ differed greatly. Only 12% said they’d definitely/probably pay to stream a movie at the same time released in a movie theater. Further, 18-34 years olds show a strong willing to pay with 65% would definitely/probably pay $15 dollars, 65% would definitely/probably pay $25 and 57% pay $50.

Streaming theatrical releases is a completely different distribution dynamic, altering the window availability across the distribution timeline. The recent release of the big Broadway musical “Hamilton” on Disney+ serves as a promising start with more than 725k global downloads. This marks a 47% increase in app downloads compared to the average four weeks in June. Of course, not all movies will have “Hamilton” level success. Monitoring and evaluating  new distribution patterns will be critical to understanding how wide-spread streaming and its adoption becomes for theatrical release.

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