According to the report, almost 37% of TV content viewers are paying for an SVOD service, but not for cable or satellite.
More than half (51%) of TV content viewers in the United States subscribe to a traditional cable/satellite service, down from 63% a year ago, according to the report titled State of pay-TV, OTT & SVOD 2022 from Horowitz Research.
In 2020, cable/satellite service penetration was at 81%.
Meanwhile, the share of TV content viewers who rely only on streaming has continued its upward trajectory, with almost four in 10 (37%) of TV content viewers paying for an SVOD service, but not for cable or satellite, an increase from 30% in 2021.
The survey also observed a slight drop in subscriptions to SVOD services, even as the number of SVOD services has increased over the past few years and as the share of streaming compared with traditional viewing. In the 2021 study, three-quarters of TV content viewers said they subscribe to at least one SVOD; in the current study, 62% said they subscribe. An additional 10% said they had access to SVODs by sharing/borrowing passwords.
Meanwhile, Horowitz noted the number of TV content viewers using free, ad-supported sources for TV content (antennas as well as free streaming services), remained unchanged. Two-thirds used these services, on par with the number who subscribe to at least one SVOD.
What was also most certainly was the monthly cost consumers are paying for streaming services, driven by an increase in the number of services available in the market such as Discovery+ and Paramount+, and price increases from Netflix, Hulu Plus Live TV, Disney+ and others.
The report stated that on average, streaming services subscribers – including those with SVOD and/or vMVPD services like Sling TV or Hulu Plus Live TV – reported spending $75.8/month on their services – up to $26/month from the reported average spend last year. And, despite the proliferation of services, 40%) TV content viewers in the 2022 study said they “have a hard time finding something to watch.”
Commenting on the report, Adriana Waterston, Chief Revenue Officer and Insights and Strategy Lead for Horowitz Research, said: “It seems the streaming honeymoon is coming to an unavoidable end. What seemed like a fantasy come true – thousands upon thousands of hours of top-notch content available on-demand for almost no money and few, if any, ads – was never going to be a sustainable business model, given what it costs to produce and acquire great content. The next phase in this maturing industry will be a reset. We expect to see more advertising in free or low-cost, ad-supported tiers, such as the one Netflix is planning to offer, and more consolidation of services and subscriptions like what just happened with Discovery and WarnerMedia. Hopefully, for the consumer, this will translate to some cost savings, more predictable spending, and an even better user experience across the board. It will also translate to new opportunities for brands and advertisers to connect with audiences in new and innovative, interactive ways.”