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GfK: Multiple SVoD subscriptions on rise

For today’s voracious video viewers, accustomed to on-demand access to pretty much anything, one streaming video service simply may not be enough, according to research from market and consumer information source GfK.

The firm’s report – Over-the-Top TV 2016: A Complete Video Landscape – has found that 16 per cent of the viewing population in the US have multiple SVoD services in their homes, up from 10 per cent three years ago.

The report, from GfK’s The Home Technology Monitor, shows that these ‘self-bundling’ viewers – those who pay for combinations of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other subscription streaming services – are more likely to have kids under 18 in their homes (50 per cent, versus an average of 41 per cent among all weekly viewers of any type).

‘Self-bundlers’ also have higher mean incomes than average weekly viewers – at $90,000 per year versus $76,000 – but are less likely to subscribe to traditional pay TV services (67 per cent versus an average of 75 per cent).

According to GfK, the implications for content creators and brands alike are striking. Marketers want access to high-income households with very young consumers – who often influence their parents’ purchase decisions – but may have less access through standard channels (such as pay TV) if they self-bundle.

Overall, GfK measured subscribing to 16 for-pay over-the-top (OTT) streaming video services, with consumers who pay for any two or more considered to be ‘self-bundling’. Roughly half (49 per cent) of the viewing population subscribes to at least one of these services; almost two in ten (17 per cent) have Netflix and Amazon Prime; 9 per cent have Netflix and Hulu Plus; and 5 per cent have all three of the major services.

Specific combinations of subscription streaming services are associated with different effects; for example, households with Netflix and Hulu (59 per cent) are less likely to have pay TV service than those with Netflix and Amazon Prime (67 per cent).

“As consumers start to self-bundle, the potential impact of increasing subscriber fees for each streaming service will be compounded,” said David Tice, SVP of Media and Entertainment at GfK. “The last one to a price increase party may be the first one cancelled – so individual streaming services need to consider competitor plans before instituting price hikes. There may also be a place in the market for a third-party aggregator of discounted streaming services.”

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