SVOD Viewing Still Surging: Study

Netflix credentials are the most shared, ahead of HBO Now, Amazon Prime, Hulu
Hub research - svod study.jpg

The amount of time U.S. consumers are dedicating to subscription VOD services has risen sharply over the past year, Hub Entertainment Research found in a new study that also shed light on areas such as ad-skipping and service account sharing.

Hub, in its TV Redefined study, which surveyed 1,608 U.S. TV viewers, found that Hulu is seeing the biggest increase in this area, ahead of SVOD rivals such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, with 64% of respondents saying they watch Hulu more now than a year ago (see chart). Conversely, a greater number of Hulu customers (13%) said they are watching less of that service now than the year prior.

Hub also found that consumers tend to embrace platforms that allow ad-skipping, with 86% of DVR users saying they fast-forward through ads, while 27% of respondents saaid they expect shows on a network’s TV Everywhere app to be ad-free. Some 34% said the inability to skip ads in a TVE service is a “major frustration.”

The on-demand trend continues to accelerate binge-viewing behavior.

A majority (61%) of respondents said they binge-view (defined as watching three or more episodes back-to-back) frequently or occasionally, while 44% lean toward compressed season viewing (watching more or all of a season in a short span). About 43% said they frequently watch a show that lets them watch all episodes at once (simultaneous release), while 42% practice delayed viewing by waiting until enough episodes accumulate to allow for binge-viewing.

Hub found a 30%-plus increase in all of the above behaviors year-over-year.

The study also focused on account-sharing, finding that two-thirds of viewers 18 to 34 engaged in the practice, with most saying they both give and receive account credentials.

Netflix is the most shared account type across all age groups, ahead of HBO Now, Amazon Prime, Hulu or a pay TV account.