Discovery: Video Streaming Habits

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Whether people are seeking flexible viewing options, avoiding commercials, or simply seeking to cut the ties of cable, viewership on video streaming services continues to rise. For advertisers, publishers, and brands seeking to vie for the attention of these increasingly fragmented audiences, which services are the most popular, where do audiences overlap, how long is their attention span, and who is really watching on a given account?

To answer these questions, we asked DISQO Audience members:

  • Which video streaming services they use
  • Whose account they use to access these services
  • How frequently they binge watch via streaming services

Top Services Used

Among those surveyed, people were more likely to view content on Netflix (70%) than any other service, including Amazon Prime Video (45%), Hulu (35%), Youtube TV (16%) and HBO GO/HBO NOW (11%).

On average, people reported tuning in to 2.19 video streaming services. Most commonly, people reported watching both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (38% of people who had both). Among individuals who reported only watching one of the streaming services (26%), Netflix was the most popular choice (62%).

Netflix viewers notably over-indexed with Prime Video (55%) and Hulu (45%). Conversely, those who watch YouTube TV were the least likely to watch Netflix, suggesting a distinction between the audiences that these platforms appeal to.

Meanwhile, HBO appeared to be a tertiary choice for most viewers, as it was the least used over all, and its users watched a greater variety of services than the norm (3.61 versus 2.19). Indeed, as depicted previously, only 1% of individuals who use only one streaming service chose HBO.

Account Ownership

While the vast majority (71%) of survey respondents use their own streaming account, almost one third (29%) claim to use someone else’s. Of those who use another person’s account, about 63% use a family member’s account, 20% use a friend’s account, 15% use their significant other’s account, and 2% use a coworker’s account.

Regardless of account ownership, it is apparent that people appreciate video streaming enough to find a way to watch. Even though certain viewers may not be paying customers, they are still consumers of the service who likely have an influential role in the life of the person paying for the account, an important point to keep in mind when developing messaging and campaigns that target users of these platforms.

To ensure that accounts are only shared within intended household groups, Netflix has recently announced that it will be adding extra measures to prevent people from sharing their passwords. Frequent password rests, two-factor authentication, geographical fencing, and even fingerprint recognition are all in consideration.

Streaming Session Duration

How frequently are people binge watching their favorites? Almost half (46%) of respondents binge watch at least once a week, pointing to people’s tendency to have their attention fixed to screens. For those who don’t binge watch on a weekly basis, 16% binge a few times a month, 6% binge once a month, and 10% binge every few months.

We then uncovered that those who have their own video streaming account tend to binge watch shows more often than those who use someone else’s account. According to the survey, 51% of account owners will binge watch at least once a week, compared to 35% of those who use someone else’s account.

As a marketer, brand, or advertiser, it’s important to understand your audience, their preferences, and their habits. Gaining quality insight into who is watching and how long you’ll have their attention for can help you better cater to your customers and grow your business. Verifying these insights against actual behaviors is how companies can take their marketing strategies to the next level. Get in touch to start today. 

About the Study

Conducted in September 2019, this survey reached over 16,000 members of the DISQO Audience. Participants were asked a series of questions about video streaming services, account ownership & usage, binge-watching frequencies, and more.

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