Daily Insights

New Video Streaming Services Go Live as Viewers Reach Their Limit

By: Customer Experience Research Team | Dec 05, 2019

Three is the magic number when it comes to video streaming services. Consumers now pay for multiple streaming subscriptions, pushed to do so by market growth and the spread of content across platforms. By holding multiple subscriptions, video fans ensure access to all their favorite shows. But three is the upper limit of subscriptions most consumers are willing to pay for—media buyers, be warned!

This doesn’t mean consumers hold on to the same three from one month to the next. People “cobble” together a combination of subscriptions to get access to the shows they love, but may hold a given subscription for only a few weeks or months until they’ve finished watching a particular show. They take advantage of free trials and then cancel as soon as the trial ends, or buy discount bundles that include streaming services. Some consumers also share passwords between friends or family members living in different households.

Consumers will continue to fragment their attention across multiple platforms as the number of streaming services grows to include branded offerings like Disney+, NBC Universal’s Peacock, HBO Max, and DC Universe. Media giants are pulling their content from aggregators like Netflix and Hulu in an effort to entice viewers to their new services. Three still seems to be the limit, however. 

Marketers must embrace this reality with a flexible and responsive media strategy. Customers will flock to a service to watch a blockbuster show and then leave; marketers, in turn, will want to be where the audience is before they arrive and stay only as long as they do. Consumers have also come to expect an ad-free viewing experience. In response, marketers must innovate new ways to capture viewer attention without interrupting a program, as Hulu is attempting to do with its “pause-ads,” which only appear when consumers of the ad-supported version pause a program.

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