Streaming video subscriptions in the US have outpaced the number of paid cable and satellite television subscriptions for the first time according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the organization responsible for putting on the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
In a new study called The Changing Landscape for Video and Content, the CTA reveals that the percentage of free or paid streaming video subscribers in the US (68 percent) has finally surpassed the number of paid TV subscribers (at 67 percent).
The report also indicates that the amount of time people spend watching content on actual TV sets (51 percent) is now roughly equal to time spent consuming video content on all other devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets (49 percent) once the sampling margin of error is factored in.
Thanks to the influx of new media and flexibility in how and when to watch, consumers are viewing more content than ever. Since 2001, consumption has shot up by 32 percent – from 12.7 hours a week back then to 16.8 hours a week as of last year.
That said, the majority of people still rely on old-school methods to learn about new content. Of those polled, 56 percent said they rely on TV commercials to discover new content. Word-of-mouth is still incredibly useful as 54 percent get advice on new content from friends or family.
Steve Koenig, senior director of market research at the CTA, said more and more consumers are embracing the freedom of connectivity – in this case, the anytime / anywhere access to video content. It’s one of the driving trends of our time, he said, adding that advancements in technology deliver “content convenience” that results in cultural changes such as binge watching, second screen behavior, content recommendations and the screens consumers use to consume video.
In the next year or so, Koenig said they expect to see streaming subscribers surpass pay-TV services by a fair margin.
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