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Nielsen: 40% of U.S. Homes Use Subscription Streaming Service

12 Mar, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Hidden caveat: DVD/Blu-ray Disc player use remains strong

Over-the-top video is dominating the conversation in home entertainment and pay-TV — and with good reason. About two out of five U.S. homes use a subscription video-on-demand service, spearheaded by Netflix, which was used in 36% of homes in November, according to new data from Nielsen.

SVOD homes spend 2 hours and 45 minutes a day in front of the TV compared with 1 hour and 57 minutes for non-SVOD homes.

Among SVOD-accessible homes, 28% use one service (Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, CBS All Access, Shout! Factory TV, etc.), 10% use two services and 2.6% use at least three.

Amazon Prime is used in 13% of SVOD homes, followed by Hulu Plus at 6.5%. Meanwhile, 35% of U.S. homes have broadband access but do not use SVOD, and 25% of homes have no high-speed Internet service.

Among SVOD homes, 1 hour and 6 minutes a day is spent watching time-shifted programming (including DVR); 53 minutes is spent accessing content on a video game console; 26 minutes via streaming media device (Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, etc.) and 20 minutes on a connected Blu-ray Disc player.

Notably, Blu-ray player daily use increases to 17% (21 minutes) among non-broadband homes; 10% among TV-only households, and 9% (12 minutes) among broadband homes without SVOD.

In terms of race and ethnicity, the multicultural makeup in SVOD homes is different from other types of homes. For instance, among homes with SVOD, 71% of them are white, 12% are Hispanic, 10% are black and 5% are Asian-American. However, that distribution changes in homes with no broadband: 56% of homes are white, 18% are Hispanic, 22% are black and 2% are Asian-American.

“When looking at how homes with access to subscription-based streaming services compare to a typical TV home, homes with broadband and no SVOD — and even homes with no broadband at all — we see that SVOD homes really go ‘all in’ in terms of the devices that they are using through their traditional televisions,” Dounia Turrill, SVP  of Client Insights for Nielsen, said in a statement. “From DVRs to video game console usage, these homes — perhaps because of their income level — both adopt and rely on these devices at a much higher rate. Technology begets technology.”


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