Hulu users prefer subscription streaming over legacy pay TV

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017
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TDG: When Asked To Choose, Hulu SVOD Users Steadfastly Pick Subscription Streaming Over Legacy Pay-TV

  • Hulu Subs More Likely Than Netflix Or Amazon Prime Users To Select Subscription On-Demand Streaming Over Legacy Pay-TV, But Are They Solid Prospects For Hulu Live TV?

PLANO, TX — When asked to choose between their legacy pay-TV and SVOD services, Hulu on-demand users are 37% more likely than Amazon Prime users and 29% more likely than Netflix users to select streaming services over legacy pay-TV. This according to new research from The Diffusion Group (TDG).

Choosing between traditional pay TV and SVOD - USA

Two-thirds (67%) of Hulu users that also subscribe to a traditional pay-TV service (dual-service users) say that, if forced to choose between the two, they’d stick with their SVOD services. This rate is significantly greater than tallies of both Netflix and Amazon Prime dual-service users (52% and 49% respectively). Conversely, only a third of Hulu dual-service users chose legacy pay-TV, compared with 48% of those using Netflix and 51% of those using Amazon Prime.

“This variance was a bit unexpected,” notes TDG President and Principal Analyst, Michael Greeson. “One would be forgiven for thinking that Netflix dual-service users would be the segment most likely to stick with their streaming services. Given the reach of the service (nearly 100 million viewers versus Hulu’s 47 million) and the relative strength of the Netflix brand, it is not unreasonable to assume that the bond between Netflix and its subscribers would lead to higher numbers.” But according to TDG’s new research, Hulu proved far stickier than legacy-TV when compared to both Netflix and Amazon Prime.

“Keep in mind that Hulu is a very different service than Netflix or Amazon Prime,” says Greeson, “with broadcast and cable TV shows front and center in its offerings with movies playing a secondary role. This makes it a better substitute for live legacy pay-TV than Netflix or Amazon Prime.”

Given this level of brand loyalty, Hulu could have a leg up when it comes to converting its SVOD users to Hulu Live TV subscribers. Then again, much depends on whether this phenomenon is due to a preference for watching TV shows on-demand versus live, or due to a branded quality of experience above and beyond on-demand functionality. If more the former, converting SVOD users to live TV subscribers will prove difficult for Hulu. If more the latter, the chances of conversion are much higher — especially if Hulu can execute a level of integration between live and on-demand that exceeds both incumbent and virtual MVPDs.

TDG’s decade-long study of the rise and evolution of new video delivery models continues, with a number of new projects just completed or in the works. For example, TDG recently released a formal segmentation of US SVOD users, and announced a new multi-client primary research focused exclusively on active vMVPD subscribers (users of Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Sony Vue, FuboTV, YouTube TV, or Hulu Live TV).