As the options for new original programming grows exponentially and the number of streaming services increases, viewers are beginning to express feelings of being overwhelmed by too many choices. Now is the time for program originators to step in and develop options to meet these new expressed audience needs.
Nielsen Media recently released a report entitled State of Play, delineating the current state of streaming television and offering some suggestions for addressing viewer concerns.
Currently, there are over 817,000 new program titles, each with its own list of dozens—or perhaps even hundreds—of episodes. In 2019, less than 3 years ago, there were only 646,000. Many of these programs were created for traditional television, but recently—especially in the last two years—more and more original programming is being developed for OTT (internet-connected) outlets.
In February 2022, content from streaming platforms accounted for just under 29% of consumers’ total time with TV, ahead of broadcast programming (26.4%) for the fourth straight month. 58% of the audience now subscribes to 3 or more paid streaming services, up from 32% in 2019. Weekly time spent streaming video content has increased as well, from 143.2 billion minutes in February 2021 to 169.4 billion minutes in February 2022.
In a recent audience survey, nearly half (50%) of survey respondents say that the increase in options makes it challenging to find what they’re looking for. And 46% said it was harder to find the video streaming content that they wanted to watch because there are too many streaming services available to consumers. As a result, 64% of the respondents expressed interest in streaming bundles like the channel packages offered by traditional cable.
As a result, some programming providers are offering select services that can be added to existing packages at no additional cost. Another option being offered is to bundle traditional and streaming offerings in the same package. To find content more easily, it was suggested to add hyper-detailed descriptors to video catalogs to help viewers determine if a program were something they would want to watch. Another option would be video carousels that show multiple images from a featured program instead of just one static image.
With all the streaming services vying for an audience, not only is it important to create great content that people want to see, but it is equally as important to find a way to make sure they can find it and are able to view it.
With more and more audience fracturing, pinpointing a target audience for advertising should improve, and that hyper-focus should enable advertisers to reach a target audience more readily. For now, the playing field is open for innovation to reach those goals in the ever-changing arena of streaming television.
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