Forget cord cutters, it's the age of 'self-bundlers'

Detail from GfK's 'Over-the-Top TV 2016: A Complete Video Landscape' infographic. (Image: GfK)

American consumers appear to be getting more knowledgeable about the over-the-top options available to them, and are customizing their subscriptions to fit their needs. That’s the conclusion drawn by GfK’s latest report, which found that 16 percent of the viewing population has more than one SVOD subscription, up 10 percent in the past three years.

The research firm has dubbed these multiple-service takers as “self-bundlers” – consumers with higher-than average incomes but a lower-than-average tendency to have pay-TV subscriptions.

The study found that 49 percent of the population subscribes to at least one of the Big Three streaming services – Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu. About 17 percent subscribe to both Netflix and Amazon Prime, while 9 percent subscribe to Netflix and Hulu. Just 5 percent subscribe to all three services.

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Furthermore, households with subscriptions to both Netflix and Hulu are less likely to subscribe to pay-TV – which makes sense, given that Hulu makes network programs available to its viewers, making it less likely they’ll seek out the same episodes on cable TV.

For its report, “Over-the-Top TV 2016: A Complete Video Landscape,” GfK conducted web-based interviews with 1,054 consumers and combined them with “probability-based samples” to come up with its figures. It classified “viewing population” as consumers aged 13 to 64 who watch any video at least once per week on any device, including traditional television.

What could be of key interest to advertisers is the higher income level of most “self-bundlers.” Their average mean income is around $90,000 a year, versus about $76,000 for “average weekly viewers,” the study found. That certainly flies in the face of claims by cable executives made a few years back that cord cutters were mostly cash-strapped young adults.

Most are also more likely to have children under 18 living at home – another key demographic for advertisers and content providers alike.

For more:
- see this infographic

Related articles:
Cord cutters are least satisfied with their streaming service, survey finds
Pew: 42 percent of cord-cutters don't have residential broadband

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