The State of Streaming: Too Much of a Good Thing?

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There’s no shortage of streaming options in 2022. In fact, there are currently over 300 streaming services available in the US. Gone are the days where your two choices were simply Netflix and Hulu. With hundreds of streaming services, original content, and network-exclusive platforms, there’s a lot more to consider these days. Have we gone from a streamer’s paradise to a bloated market?

The State of Streaming

There’s an unspoken pressure to keep up with the shows that almost everyone is talking about. And chances are they belong to one of the top streaming services *cough* Netflix *cough* HBO Max. Remember when Monday mornings in the office would almost always include a debrief on the latest “Game of Thrones” episode? Or when your company Slack group was filled with “Tiger King” memes and GIFs? The pressure to keep up with the hottest entertainment is real, and that pressure comes with a price tag.

According to a survey from J.D. Power, Americans now subscribe to an average of four streaming services, an increase from three services in April 2020. That increase in subscriptions led to an increase in spending. The average monthly household spend on all streaming services increased by 24% from $38 to $47.

stats from J.D. Power about how much people spend on streaming services
Image Source: J.D. Power

With hundreds of streaming services to choose from and new additions (we welcomed two top contenders in 2020 alone – HBO Max and Peacock), it’s getting increasingly more difficult to manage subscriptions and follow your favorite shows. In a recent report from Deloitte, cost sensitivity and growing frustrations reigned supreme among streaming consumers. 46% of respondents said that a low enough price was the most important factor when deciding to subscribe to a streaming service, beating out those who said content was their deciding factor.

Subscriber churn is also plaguing the Streaming Wars. Deloitte found that 66% of people were frustrated when the content they wanted to watch was removed from the service, and 53% were frustrated by having to subscribe to multiple services to access their favorites. These annoyances drove a churn rate of 37% from October 2020 to February 2021.

stats about customer satisfaction with streaming services

Streaming services will need to go beyond original content to meet the needs of their subscribers. Low costs, along with more pricing options in general, and better-personalized experiences are a must. Even if you weren’t able to forgive Netflix for giving up “The Office” to Peacock this year, keep reading to see how the top streaming services compare and how you can save a little extra cash.

Streaming Wars: Top Platforms Compared

The battle to be the best streaming service is still in full swing. Netflix has long been the King of Streaming, but other big players are gaining momentum. According to J.D. Power, Netflix’s market share declined four percentage points since April 2020 at 85%, while its top competitors closed in. Amazon Prime Video ranked second at 65% (down from 66% in April 2020), followed by Hulu at 56% (up from 48%), Disney+ at 47% (up from 37%), YouTube TV at 20% (up from 17%), HBO Max at 22% (up from 13%), Apple TV at 14% (up from 10%), and Peacock at 18%.

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