Streaming Demand Still Rising In 2022

One oft-repeated line of thinking was that when the COVID-19 pandemic died down and vaccines were distributed, the massive surge in demand in 2020 for streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) services would calm down or even decline.

The thinking was that people would re-embrace live events, cinema and social gatherings again as some sense of normality returned. Well, life has returned to a ‘new normal’ in many countries for much of the past year and people are getting out and about again.

But the expected drop-off in demand for SVOD services? It hasn’t happened. In fact, the new ‘State of Play’ annual report from rating measurer Nielsen, which compares the month of February in each calendar year, has found that total time spent streaming in the United States alone has jumped 18% comparing February 2021 to February 2022 .

The report estimates that weekly time spent streaming currently stands at 169.4 billion minutes, up from 143.2 billion at the same time last year. Content from streaming platforms accounts for nearly 29% of consumers’ total time with TV, ahead of broadcast programming (26.4%).

Fueling that is the availability of programming with Nielsen pegging the number of unique program titles in the US at 817,000 and climbing – up by 26% from December 2019. In addition, only 15% of those titles are exclusive to a particular subscription streaming outlet with a much bigger 41% of programming available across multiple services.

There’s also an increased appetite for SVOD services with 93% of Americans planning to either maintain or increase the number of streaming services they subscribe to. The report says 35% of Americans now pay for four or more streaming services compared to just 11% who did so in 2019.

However there’s a downside to this revolution – the paradox of choice. With such abundance of choice available, almost half the survey respondents say they feel ‘overwhelmed’ by the availability of too many options and say it is often challenging to find the content they want.

This has led to an increased demand for bundles with 64% of respondents wishing there was a ‘bundled video streaming service’ allowing them to choose which SVOD services they wanted.

Source: CordCutters, Variety

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