NEW YORK—Nielsen’s “State of Play” report finds Americans increased their average weekly video streaming time by 18%, with a year-over-year increase from 143.2 billion streaming minutes to 169, 4 billion between February 2021 and February 2022, and that this growth is unlikely to subside any time soon.
A whopping 93% of Americans said they would increase their paid streaming services or make no changes to their existing plans in the next year.
But an 18% increase in unique program titles over the past three years to more than 817,000 in February 2022 is causing growing consumer confusion. According to the report, nearly half of audiences (46%) feel overwhelmed by the growing number of services and platforms, making it harder to find the content they want.
Amid the seemingly overwhelming choices offered by new streaming platforms, subscription video on demand (SVOD) now accounts for 53% of minutes streamed. Of the 4 hours and 49 minutes a day the average American spends watching content, 1:22 of that is via connected television (CTV).
The “State of Play” report also details how the streaming landscape has expanded beyond traditional SVOD services. Ad-supported VOD, multi-channel video programming distributors (MVPDs), and virtual MVPDs (vMVPDs) grew to 35%. And the percentage of households with YouTube TV, the vMVPD with the highest household penetration, has increased by more than 160% since 2020.
Nielsen’s “State of Play” report shows consumers now have more than 817,000 unique program titles in February 2022, up from more than 646,000 in December 2019.
With the increase in content comes an increase in consumption as well, as 18% of Americans now pay for four streaming services compared to 7% who did so in 2019. In February of this year, content from platforms streaming accounted for just under 29% of consumers’ total time spent watching TV, ahead of broadcast programming (26.4%) for the fourth month in a row, according to Nielsen’s The Gauge, its monthly snapshot of TV and entertainment. streaming. In total, Americans watched nearly 15 million years of streaming video content last year.
When asked if bundled streaming services could make it easier for consumers to find the content they’re looking for, 64% of respondents said they would like there to be a bundled video streaming service that would allow them to choose as few or as many video streaming services as they wanted.
“The inaugural state of play really underscores the fact that we have entered the next phase of streaming, based on the trends we have detailed in streaming over the past few years,” said Brian Fuhrer, senior vice president of product strategy at Nielsen. . “We went from infancy to adolescence, and all the complexities one would expect at that time. It’s not just that streaming is growing year on year. Consumers now want simplified access and the explosion of services has reignited discussions around bundling and aggregation. Ultimately, these challenges signal an opportunity as the industry harnesses streaming for long-term business growth.
the State of play report leverages Nielsen TV measurement and broadcast data, information from grace note (opens in a new tab), a Nielsen company, and the results of a custom online survey of US video streamers.
For additional insights and findings, download the State of the Art Report here (opens in a new tab).