Viewing is shifting from live TV to subscription services

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017
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With SVOD Subscriptions Rising, Consumers Spend More Time Watching Movies and TV

  • Viewing is shifting from live TV to subscription services, as more streaming content is made available

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — The latest entertainment trends research from The NPD Group, a leading global information company, reveals a telling shift in how much time Americans spend watching TV and movie content – and how they’re watching it. As subscribers to Netflix, Hulu and other subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services continues to increase, so too does the amount of time viewers watch television and movies on their TVs, personal computers and mobile devices. In fact, consumers viewed one more hour per week of television and movie content in August of 2017, than they did the previous year.

Consumer Reported Hours Spent Watching Movies/TV in a Week - US - August 2017

“Digital content continues to reshape the video landscape,” said Graham Gee, president of video entertainment, The NPD Group. “SVOD had the highest year-over-year increase, with almost half the population streaming video, but purchasing downloadable content is also gaining traction.”

NPD noted an 8 percentage point year-over-year rise in subscription video streaming during the 12 months ending August 2017 and a 2 percentage point increase in electronic sell-through (EST), where consumers pay a one-time fee to download and keep a media file. The share of U.S. consumers using only SVOD services to watch content increased from 11 percent in August 2016 to 15 percent this year.

Still, it’s important to note that one-third of the population still buys and rents video content, in addition to using streaming services. “When it comes to entertainment, few consumers limit themselves to one single option,” Gee said. “Going out to the movies, watching cable TV, and viewing DVDs at home are still very popular activities, even as subscriptions to streaming services rise.”

Information in this press release comes from NPD’s “Entertainment Trends in America” report, which is based on 7,290 completed online surveys from members of NPD’s online panel.