Only half of entertainment sources in US homes seen as must-haves | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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The inaugural Battle Royale study from Hub Entertainment Research has shown that as entertainment moves to subscriptions, video providers aren’t the only combatants in the “streaming wars”
 with the average household taking entertainment such as video, music, gaming, podcasts from almost 13 different sources.
HUb Ent res 26May2022
The study surveyed 3,014 US consumers, age 16-74 with data collected in March 2022. It captured use of entertainment providers across ten different categories: everything from traditional and streaming TV, to gaming, streaming music, podcasts, audiobooks, and reading (digital or physical).

The fundamental finding of the research was that even though Covid and the launch of new platforms kicked the streaming revolution into high gear, the growth of leaders like Netflix was levelling off and that competition for time from non-video categories bears much of the blame.

The survey found that the average household uses 12.5 different entertainment sources and that the total was significantly higher among younger consumers (15.5) and households with kids (16.4). But only half of those providers are considered indispensable. When respondents were asked to assign each source they use to one of two categories: a must-have (“entertainment your household can’t do without”), or a nice to have (“you might miss this but you could do without”). On average, only about half of the sources a household uses are considered “must-have”.

Two-thirds of Netflix users (68%) ranked it a must have service, the highest of any premium video platform, but YouTube (69%) was considered a must have by just as many users, and Spotify (75%) ranked ahead of both. Special interest platforms that focus on one genre may have fewer subscribers, but those users were found to be very loyal. Both Crunchyroll (67%) and Funimation (65%) were among the most likely to be considered must-haves.

Looking as to what effect this may have on service providers, Hub suggested that bundling content from more than one category may be an effective way to mitigate churn. It said that while viewers were eager to simplify their growing list of video providers, this desire for aggregation appeared to apply to more than just video.

Among Amazon Prime subs who only use Prime Video, less than half (45%) said that Amazon’s entertainment content was a must-have, but among those who also use either Prime Gaming or Amazon Music, it’s much higher (61%). And among those who use all three, 64% say they couldn’t do without Amazon’s entertainment content.

“Our new Battle Royale study shows the battle for entertainment share of mind has more competitors than many realise,” said Jon Giegengack, principal at Hub and one of the Battle Royale study’s authors. “But it also proves there are big opportunities for companies to engage consumers more deeply by leveraging IP across categories. We’re already seeing this in action, whether it’s Netflix’s commitment to gaming or Halo’s success attracting viewers to Paramount+. In the future, cross category bundling may be a key tool to differentiate one provider from the many alternatives.”