The biggest screen in the house is becoming the go-to for watching online video, according to new research from Parks Associates.
The firm said that 52% of U.S. broadband households surveyed now watch online video (SVOD, AVOD, etc.) on a connected TV. Not coincidentally, Parks also found that watching TV and movies at home is the most popular leisure activity for U.S. broadband households.
"While the total number of hours consuming videos has declined, consumers are watching more internet video on the largest screen available," said Billy Nayden, research analyst at Parks Associates, in a statement. "The number of hours consumers report watching video on a TV increased for the first time since 2014, with connected devices enabling internet video services on TV and shifting consumers away from PC and mobile viewing. As OTT competition becomes a battle for the living room, the challenge for device makers and content producers is finding the correct product mix to maximize both profit and utility."
Nayden also suggested that the recent surge in ad-supported video streaming service launches could be due to fatigue on consumers’ part toward trying out more subscription services.
"As consumers' taste for OTT experimentation wanes, they will start to resist the push to add another monthly subscription to their households," Nayden said. "Many providers are starting to lead with freemium and ad-based models, in anticipation of this pushback."
While SVOD fatigue may be setting in, the big three U.S. subscription video services continue to gain share and find a place in consumers’ makeshift programming bundles. Parks said that 19% of consumers subscribe to either Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Video and another OTT service, compared to 13% in 2017.
Despite the rise of online video viewership on TV screens and growing percentages of U.S. households with multiple subscription services, consumers watched fewer hours of online video overall. Parks said consumers watched 25.7 hours of video per week in 2018, down from 29.5 hours per week in 2016.