Streaming Now Equals Paid TV for Watching Video

Posted on by Larry

Earlier this week, the Consumer Technology Association put out a press release with a surprising headline: “Video consumption on TVs now equaled by consumption on all other consumer tech devices.”

Here’s the lead paragraph from the press release: “For the first time ever, the percentage of free or paid streaming video subscribers in the U.S. (68 percent) has caught up to the number of paid TV subscribers (67 percent), according to new research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).”

Translated into English, this is saying that there are as many people watching streaming video on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, et al as are watching on traditional cable television services. Additionally, we spend as much time watching video on desktops, laptops and mobile devices as we do on traditional TV sets.

Steven Koenig, senior director of market research for CTA, was quoted in the press release: “More and more consumers are embracing the freedom of connectivity – in this case, the anytime/anywhere access to video content, this is one of the driving trends of our time.” Steve continues: “And we expect streaming subscribers to surpass paid TV services – and by a fair margin – in the next year or so.”

While it seems obvious in hindsight, as someone who grew up when there were only three major TV networks, this diversity of distribution is pretty amazing. Here are more stats from the release:

I find it very interesting that the transition from HD to 4K UHD is happening faster than the transition from SD to HD.

I also find the dichotomy between how people LEARN about new content – using traditional services – vs. how they VIEW new content – using new technology – intriguing. What doesn’t surprise me is that marketing to find new audiences remains challenging.

Interesting, interesting times.


Here’s the link to the full report.

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