Multiple SVOD Viewer Population Now 16%


According to new research from GfK, one streaming video service may simply not be enough.

That could further build pressure on cable television networks and cable TV operators as broadcast television stations benefit from their free, over-the-air availability and local news coverage.

Data from the GfK white paper The Home Technology Monitor shows that “self-bundling” viewers — defined as those who pay for combinations of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other subscription streaming services — now comprise 16% of the viewing population.

That’s up from 10% in 2013, GfK notes.

GfK defines the “viewing population” as all who consume any video at least once per week via any means — regular TV, streaming, or otherwise. This is representative of 95% of the U.S. population between the ages of 13 and 64.

These “Self-bundlers” are also more likely to have kids under 18 in their homes (50%), compared to 41% of all weekly viewers. Additionally, “self-bundlers” have higher annual mean incomes than average weekly viewers, at $90,000 vs. $76,000.

While they are less likely to subscribe to traditional pay TV services, some 67% said they would — an indication that cable TV packages still matter, and that pricing may be a key issue among these “self-bundlers.”

In GfK’s view, the implications of increased multiple SVOD use among the viewing population “are striking” for content creators and brands alike.

“Marketers want access to high-income households with very young consumers who often influence their parents’ purchasing decisions but may have less access through standard channels (such as pay TV) if they self-bundle,” GfK said.

Overall, GfK measured subscribing to 16 subscription-based over-the-top (OTT) streaming video services, with consumers who pay for any two or more considered to be “self-bundling.”

Some 49% of the viewing population subscribes to at least one of 16 subscription-based OTT services measured by GfK. Some 17% have Netflix and Amazon Prime, while some 9% have Netflix and Hulu Plus, and some 5% have all three of the major services.

Specific combinations of subscription streaming services are associated with different effects. For example, households with Netflix and Hulu (59%) are less likely to have pay TV service than those with Netflix and Amazon Prime (67%).

For GfK SVP/Media & Entertainment, pricing is paramount for SVODs.

“As consumers start to self-bundle, the potential impact of increasing subscriber fees for each streaming service will be compounded,” Tice said. “The last one to a price increase party may be the first one cancelled – so individual streaming services need to consider competitor plans before instituting price hikes. There may also be a place in the market for a third-party aggregator of discounted streaming services.”