Research: OTT in 64% US homes

Market research and consulting company Parks Associates has released its updated list of the top 10 subscription over-the-top (OTT) video services in the US market, based on estimated number of subscribers. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu continue to hold the top three slots, with HBO Now and Starz moving into the top five.

1. Netflix
2. Prime Video Users (Amazon Prime)
3. Hulu (SVoD)
4. HBO Now
5. Starz
6. MLB.TV
7. Showtime
8. CBS All Access
9. Sling TV
10. DirecTV Now

“Which company is the leading OTT video subscription service remains a topic of debate,” said Brett Sappington, Senior Director of Research, Parks Associates. “According to our estimates, Amazon has more Prime Members than Netflix has subscribers. However, when you consider only those Prime Members that use Prime Video, Netflix is the largest. Hulu remains the third largest but continues to grow its subscriber base.”

The firm notes the rise of a second tier of OTT video services from services with recognised brands, including several with high profile original content. Online pay-TV services Sling TV and DirecTV NOW round out the top ten, ahead of similar services Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue. Online pay TV has been one of the fastest growing segments in the OTT video space, with aggressive marketing by all.

“HBO, Starz, Showtime, and CBS All Access demonstrate the powerful attractiveness of original content through series like Game of Thrones and Star Trek: Discovery,” Sappington said. “This pattern suggests new services such as WarnerMedia’s DC Universe and the forthcoming streaming service from Disney could achieve success quickly.”

The top subscription sports OTT video services are MLB.TV, WWE Network, and ESPN+. MLB.TV continues to lead the sports OTT subscription category, benefiting from its long tenure as a streaming service and popularity among dedicated baseball fans. WWE also has a dedicated fan base and publicly reported having over 1.2 million US subscribers at the end of Q3 2018. ESPN+ is a newcomer to the OTT video marketplace but recently announced that it had exceeded 1 million subscribers.

Additional data from Parks Associates’ OTT Video Market Tracker, which tracks the content offerings, business strategies, and subscription numbers for OTT services in North America:

– OTT video subscription penetration has reached 64 per cent of US broadband households. Over two-thirds subscribe only to one of the top three services, Netflix, Prime Video, or Hulu.
– The online pay-TV audience is similar to the OTT audience—they are younger and quicker to adopt new technologies when compared to traditional pay-TV households.
– Over the past three years, OTT churn rates have gradually fallen each year from 31 per cent of OTT subscriptions cancelled each year in 2015 to 28 per cent in 2018.

read more here: advanced-television.com

Broadband Households Embrace Alternative Video Sources

According to the 360 Deep Dive: Alternative Content Consumption report, content such as livestreaming, user-generated content, short-form videos and web video series that are available via social networking, video-sharing or similar apps or sites is gaining traction.

For instance, nearly one-half of US broadband households watch user-generated content on a monthly basis, and more than 10% watch livestreamed content. Almost one-quarter of broadband households have posted videos to some type of content site or app within the last 30 days.

“Alternative video is an important part of the video landscape, and it competes with other video options for a share of consumer attention,” said Brett Sappington, senior director of research at Parks Associates. “Approximately one-half of households with a TV watch video from YouTube and similar sites on their TV set. In fact, more households watch online video from an app such as YouTube than watch video from a TV channel app.”

Parks Associates data about alternative content consumption shows that adoption of pay-TV declines as the frequency of user-generated content consumption increases. This correlation poses a future threat to pay-TV providers, the report found, as younger respondents are far more likely to watch user-generated content, which could potentially impact their future pay-TV habits and perspectives.

“Younger consumers are far more likely to create their own content as well as watch user-generated content,” Sappington said. “For these viewers, the creation of content is as much a part of the entertainment experience as is watching video. Increasingly, traditional content producers and service providers are leveraging alternative content, in order to connect with audiences and draw viewers. Some are partnering with individual web celebrities and influencers who often have a disproportionately large influence on the user-generated side of the alternative content space.”

The research also found that, at present, only 7% of US broadband households watch sporting events via livestream. And, consumers who view user-generated content are much more likely than those who never watch it to have an OTT service.

read more here: rapidtvnews.com

85% of U.S. Millennials Subscribe to At Least One OTT Video Service

A big majority – more than 85% — of U.S. millennials in broadband homes subscribe to least one OTT video service, according to new data from Parks Associates.

Broken down further, more than one-fourth of those millennials subscribe to three or more OTT services, and more than half take at least two subscription OTT video services.

Those totals suggest that the market among that age group is not only saturated, but present a significant challenge for OTT services retain existing subs.

“Overall penetration of subscription OTT video services among millennials has topped out, suggesting that those households that want such a subscription already have one or more,” Brett Sappington, senior director of research at Parks Associates, said in a statement. “The more interesting and important question is how many subscriptions they will keep.”

In its latest OTT Video Market Tracker, which analyzes trends and profiles of nearly 150 over-the-top service providers such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon, in the U.S. and Canada, the research firm also found that more than 70% of U.S. broadband homes have an internet-connected entertainment device.

That data also shows that consumers, on average, own 8.6 connected CE products, up 87% since 2010. Some 70% of U.S. broadband homes have an internet-connected device, and 17% own a smart home device and an internet-connected entertainment device, the firm said.

Parks Associates predicts that more than 265 million households worldwide will have north of 400 million OTT video service subscriptions by 2022.

read more here: multichannel.com

12% of U.S. broadband households use a live streaming platform

Parks Associates today announced that as of Q3 2017, 12% of U.S. broadband households use a live streaming platform like Facebook Live or Periscope. The profile for live streamers is generally younger, with 19% of consumers ages 18-24 engaging in live streaming activity, but live streaming of TV shows and sports skews older, indicating more older viewers might be using these solutions to access illegal streams of content.

Parks Associates – US Live Streamers

“Eight percent of broadband households have used live streaming apps to watch TV shows, while 7% have used live streaming apps to watch sports,” said Brett Sappington, Senior Director of Research, Parks Associates. “Some sports franchises and leagues are legitimately live streaming their content, but much of the produced content on these live streaming platforms remains unsanctioned.”

The research comes from Parks Associates’ new industry report Pay TV, Passwords, and Piracy, which identifies trends among content-pirating consumers, details emerging streaming piracy methods, and assesses viable solutions for addressing these piracy methods.

“Over one-third of households live-streaming TV shows or sports indicate the programming was available, but they opted for live-streaming because they did not want to pay for access. Over one-quarter stated that they accessed the content via live streaming because the price of the programming was too high,” Sappington said. “While these figures ultimately represent less than 5% of U.S. broadband households, they are a significant portion of those watching app-based live streams.”

Additional data from the report includes:

– 18% of Cord Nevers indicate they use the credentials of someone outside their household to access an online video service.
– Among pay-TV subscribers, only 7% indicate they use IDs and passwords for video services from people who do not live in their household.
– 14% of Cord Cutters use others’ credentials for online video services, double the rate of use by pay-TV subscribers.
– 45% of U.S. broadband households are very concerned about downloading a virus or malware when downloading or streaming video.

Brett Sappington will present Parks Associates research at this year’s Cable Congress in Dublin, March 6-7, and at 2018 NAB in Las Vegas, April 7-12.

Roku’s Share of Streaming Market Rising

As streaming becomes more popular as a way to consume TV programming, Roku is increasing the number of homes in which its devices are used, according to a new report from Parks Associates.
In the first quarter, Roku’s leading share of the streaming media player market in the U.S. grew to 37% from 30% a year ago.

The gain puts Roku further ahead of competitors including Amazon, Google and Apple.
“Roku emerged early as a U.S. market leader for streaming media players, and the company has held firmly to that position,” said Glenn Hower, senior analyst at Parks Associates. “Higher-priced devices, such as the Apple TV, have not been able to keep up with low-priced and readily available Roku devices, which can be found at Walmart for as low as $29.99.”

Amazon’s Fire TV increased it share to 24% from 16% in the quarter. Google’s Chromecast dropped to 18% and Apple TV fell to 15%, according to Parks.

“One-third of U.S. broadband households own a streaming media player,” Hower said. “The growth of the U.S. OTT market provided consumers with unprecedented ease of access to video content. These streaming media devices make for quick and easy access to the top OTT libraries.”

The Parks report, Reinventing CE: Transforming Devices to Service Platforms, looks at how the CE industry has migrated from producing and distributing hardware to distributing OTT content and leveraging advertising models.