Acumen Insights

Watch Out Cable, Subscription Video Is Here to Stay

By December 7, 2016 No Comments

Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services have reshaped the way we enjoy television, and streaming services of all kinds have become increasingly popular worldwide as viewers seek new ways to supplement the traditional television viewing experience with premium content. A survey from ClearLeap shows that since the launch of Netflix streaming services in 2007, U.S. consumers have adopted SVOD services faster than any other pay media service. Today, almost two-thirds (63 percent) of consumers use SVOD services and spend a significant amount of viewing time with these services. Nearly half of those with SVOD and pay television watch their streaming services as much as, or more than, cable.  The difference is even more pronounced for younger viewers, with 72 percent of Millennials stating they watch SVOD services as much as or more than pay TV. When it comes to paying the SVOD bill, however, those same Millennials would rather let someone else carry the load. Of those that use a service, 30 percent say someone else pays the bill.

Quality remains a critical component of SVOD experiences. Of all the problems that can afflict a streaming video session, delays in viewing remain the most pernicious. Alarmingly, buffering and delayed starts impact nearly three-quarters of survey participants most often, with half of respondents citing buffering as the biggest problem. Video quality is an issue for 15 percent, and 12 percent report problems with the audio being out of synchronization with the picture. When examining the degree to which these issues impacted viewing, two-thirds of respondents state that buffering and delayed starts are liable to drive them to quit streaming a video. Further, 17 percent say technical problems would likely drive them to cancel an SVOD service altogether. As a result, streaming service providers must pay extra mind to backend mechanics to ensure users have the smoothest viewing experiences.