Research: SVoD glut confuses US consumers

May 24, 2023

The latest wave of Hub Entertainment Research’s Battle Royale study shows that US consumers have more sources of entertainment than they can easily use and are eager for solutions that allow them to simplify.

Complexity is as big of a limitation to new subscriptions as cost:  Many assume the main factor limiting new subscriptions is cost, but there are just as many who say they don’t add more because they have too many to use.

  • 82 % of all respondents say budget is a main factor limiting their subscriptions.
  • But just as many (82 %) say there’s a limit to how many platforms they can use, even if they could afford to have them all

‘Premium’ video represents only about half of consumers’ total entertainment ecosystem: formats like gaming and social media are taking a greater share of disposable time and money.

  • The average household uses roughly the same number of premium video sources (6.1) and non-video (6.7)
  • But key segments, like young people or households with kids, use significantly more non-video than video sources of entertainment

Only about half of entertainment sources are considered “must haves” (“something my household can’t do without”): Across categories – video, audio, gaming, social media, podcasts, reading, etc., – the average respondent said their household uses 12.7 different sources (the same as in 2022). Younger consumers use more (15.8) and households with kids use the most (16.3).

But regardless of segment, consumers only consider about half their sources to be “must haves” (“something my household can’t do without”). All the others are classified as “nice to have” – something they might miss if it were gone, but not essential. The 50-50 ratio of “must haves” vs. “nice to haves” is consistent across segments.

“This research underscores the threat churn represents to entertainment providers,” notes Jon Giegengack, principal at Hub and one of the study authors. “Consumers are using many sources, but only half of them are considered essential: the others are at risk of being cut. But the data also show the opportunity for companies that can simplify the user experience. Complexity is as big an impediment as cost – and for companies trying to maximise their bottom line, creating a simpler experience should be more palatable than cutting their price.”