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Streaming Viewers Feel Overwhelmed By Options, Nielsen Survey Suggests


The average weekly time Americans spent streaming video content jumped 18% from February 2021 to February 2022, according to a Nielsen report released Wednesday, but many viewers feel overwhelmed by the options available to them.

Key Facts

Americans watched a weekly average of 169.4 billion minutes of streaming video content in February, up from 143.2 billion minutes in the same month a year ago.

Gracenote, a Nielsen company, found more than 817,000 unique titles were available to stream or watch on TV in February, compared to 646,000 titles in December 2019.

Though 72% of respondents said they love their experience with video streaming services, 64% said they wish there was a streaming service bundle available, and 46% said it's hard to find the content they want to watch because there are too many streaming services available.

In 2022, 24% of paid video subscribers paid for two streaming services, compared to 23% who paid for three, 18% who paid for four, 18% who paid for one, 10% who paid for five and 7% who paid for six or more.

In 2019, when there were fewer streaming options, 35% of paid video subscribers paid for only one streaming service and 33% paid for two.

Big Number

98%. That’s how many of the most-viewed broadcast programs were sports from January to September 2021.

Key Background

In the last few years the number of streaming services has exploded. Disney+ and AppleTV+ launched in November 2019, HBO Max launched in May 2020, Peacock launched nationally in July 2020, Discovery+ launched in January 2021, Paramount+ (which rebranded from CBS All Access) launched in March 2021, and CNN+ launched last week. Despite the competition, Netflix remains the most-popular streaming service, with 221.8 million users worldwide in 2021.

Further Reading

Streaming Overload: Viewers Feel Overwhelmed by Too Many Choices, Nielsen Survey Finds (The Hollywood Reporter)

Time Spent Streaming Has Risen 18% Over The Past Year, Nielsen Says (Deadline)

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