Data: US TV spending & viewing skyrocket amid pandemic

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While the pandemic peaked dependence on TV for entertainment – forcing many to purchase new subscriptions and devices to get their fix – the 2021 TV Viewership Index by Mohu, the digital TV antenna provider owned by Antennas Direct, shows Americans’ TV investments are hitting a tipping point.

Being stuck at home has driven Americans to depend on (and crave) TV content, so much so that most Americans admit (59 per cent) they subscribe to more TV services than last year.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Two in five have 4+ subscriptions (44 per cent)
  • Streaming is still the most popular way to access movies (57 per cent) and TV show favourites (50 per cent), but many (63 per cent) subscribe to both streaming and cable services
  • TV cravings are so strong that nearly four in five (78 per cent) have subscribed to a new service just to watch one particular show, movie or programme
  • Most households are spending money to upgrade their devices (75 per cent) and even furnishings (64 per cent) to optimise the at-home viewing experience

Despite record-high cravings for TV, Americans also have record-high expectations for their TV services – especially around price and available content:

  • Price: While many subscribe to more TV services, the financial investment has hit a tipping point. In fact, two in five plan to cancel at least one subscription within the next six months (44 per cent) and they cite high costs as the primary driver (80 per cent).
    • Financial challenges have pushed many to get creative with managing their TV costs by leveraging free trials (55 per cent), sharing subscription logins (48 per cent), tightening budgets for personal spending (48 per cent), and cutting the cord altogether (54 per cent).
  • Content: 74 per cent of Americans subscribe to different TV services because they like to have a lot of content options available. Content is so important that it’s a make-or-break for renewing.
    • Of those Americans that plan to cancel TV subscriptions, many say they no longer enjoy the content available (80 per cent) or the service doesn’t add new content often enough (74 per cent).

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