Viewers Tapping Into Best of Both Distribution Worlds

A growing segment of consumers subscribing to both traditional, virtual MVPDs
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An emerging group of viewers are subscribing to both traditional cable and streaming services in an effort to satisfy their voracious viewing habits, according to a new viewer study from Horowitz Research. 

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The Horowitz State of Viewing & Streaming study reports that 15% of viewers -- defined by Horowitz as “Mega Omnivores” -- view content both through a traditional cable subscription as well as through virtual MVPDs such as DirecTV Now, YouTube TV and Sling TV. On a weekly basis, this group -- comprised mostly of younger, male-skewing viewers with high incomes -- streams its content 54% of the time, according to the report.

The online survey of more than 1,600 TV content viewers also reported that traditional television viewers remain the biggest group, with 35% of “5 O’Clock Diners” watching live TV content through traditional MVPDs or through antennas, according to the study. These viewers tend to be older, have a lower average income and are less likely to have children in the home, said Horowitz.

“Omnivores” -- viewers who only subscribe to an MVPD but occasionally stream content through services such as Netflix and Hulu -- comprise 30% of TV content viewers, according to the study.

“With more options than ever for accessing on-demand and live TV content, consumers have the freedom to build a customized viewing experience based on what they want to watch and how they want to watch it,” said Adriana Waterston, Horowitz’s senior vice president of insights and strategy in a statement. “The good news is that we see most consumers still wanting a robust experience that includes a wide variety of networks, viewing experiences, and both on-demand and live opportunities.”

Among the study’s other findings, 12% of TV content viewers (Content Paleos) stream all of their content, but don’t subscribe to a vMVPD; 6% (Flexitarian Lites) stream most of their content but have an antenna to watch live TV; and 3% (Flexitarians) -- who tend to be young and multicultural -- stream all of their content and also subscribe to a vMVPD, according to the report. 

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