Consumers Frustrated by the Number of Streaming Options

The massive growth of streaming entertainment options may present a downside. According to Deloitte’s latest annual Digital Media Trends survey, 47 percent of U.S. consumers indicate they are becoming frustrated with the increasing number of subscriptions and services required to access the media content they want. In addition, 57 percent say they are also frustrated when their favorite movies and TV shows are no longer available due to the expiration of licensing agreements. There are more than 300 over-the-top options for video in the U.S. today, a number continuing to rise.

“The boom in subscription streaming services has given consumers more options than ever, with an array that includes Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, CBS All Access, Showtime and YouTube Premium,” reports Variety. “Even more are coming down the pike with Apple, Disney, WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal and others promising to enter the fray in a big way.”

“Consumers want choice — but only up to a point,” said Deloitte’s Kevin Westcott. “We may be entering a time of ‘subscription fatigue.’”

Deloitte notes that 43 percent of U.S. consumers subscribe to streaming services and traditional pay TV, while today’s average viewer subscribes to three different streaming video services, essentially creating their own entertainment bundles.

“Consumers are looking for less friction in the consumption process,” Westcott said. One remedy for such fragmentation may be for larger platforms to reorganize in a way that offers access across sources and includes personal recommendations, he suggested.

Variety points to some compelling figures from the study: “Nearly half (49 percent) of consumers in Deloitte’s survey said the sheer amount of content available on subscription VOD makes it hard to choose what to watch. Meanwhile, consumers say they know exactly what they want to watch 69 percent of the time, but 48 percent say content is hard to find across multiple services. And 49 percent give up on searching for content if they can’t find it in a few minutes.”

Deloitte found growth in video and music subscription services, in addition to voice-enabled smart speakers, video games and eSports. It also learned that high-quality original content helps drive video subscriptions, especially with millennials.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the study learned that most consumers would be more satisfied with pay TV if it featured less or shorter advertisements, and 82 percent of consumers do not believe enough is being done to adequately protect personal data.

Digital Media Trends Survey, 13th Edition, Deloitte Insights, 2019
Stream Nation: U.S. Consumers Spend $2 Billion Monthly on Streaming Video Services, Variety, 3/20/19

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