What do users expect from their TV streaming? A new NPR/Ipsos poll has some answers – NPR | Episode Movies

Most respondents said they care about cost—and content—when it comes to streaming services.

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Most respondents said they care about cost—and content—when it comes to streaming services.

Sean Locke/EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm

As major platforms like Netflix and Disney+ roll out cheaper subscription tiers and crack down on password sharing, a new NPR/Ipsos survey shows consumers are focusing on three key criteria when making decisions about TV streaming services: cost, content, and ease of use.

In a survey of 765 US adults who use streaming services (taken from a nationally representative base sample of 1,031 Americans), 92% of users said cost is an important factor in their decision to use it Subscribe to to a streaming service — closely followed by 87% who cited specific shows or films when making that decision. The survey has an error rate of 3.7 percentage points, so the results could be almost 4 points higher or lower. Full dates are at Ipsos.

When asked about important factors in their decision Abort or fall a service, 91% mention costs again, followed by 83% who name a change in content.

And when it comes to navigating through all the options available for streaming content, 69% of users agree there are too many streaming services; 58% feel overwhelmed by the amount of content available.

“Cost is key… honestly, I think that speaks to the greater economic uncertainty that Americans are feeling right now,” said Mallory Newall, vice president of public affairs at Ipsos, which conducted the survey.

“At the same time, these users are signaling that there is such a thing as too much choice… The most compelling thing a streaming provider can do right now is to be price conscious while continuing to offer great content. And that’s a bonus if they make it easy for their users to navigate their library or bundle with other platforms.”

Other survey results show that consumers have strong — and sometimes conflicting — opinions about the big changes happening in the media and streaming industry, highlighting the challenge companies face in keeping subscribers happy and the to limit the number of graduates.

Subscribers want ad-supported options even if they don’t use them.

Netflix will introduce a cheaper subscription tier that places ads on its shows on November 1, followed by a similar option on Disney+ on December 8. Survey results show these initiatives could be popular with consumers; 70% of respondents say the ability to opt-in or opt-out is an important factor when choosing a streamer.

However, when asked if they would actually buy such a subscription, people were more divided as 51% of users were still willing to pay a little more for an advertising experience. (47% say they would pay less and watch ads.)

Survey taker Tim Nguyen, 24, a government accountant who lives in Philadelphia, says he likes the ability to access a streaming service with ads, although he probably wouldn’t do it for his favorite streaming services.

“It definitely gives people more opportunity to see more [streaming services]”, he says. “Sometimes advertising is nice to break up the monotony [programming].”

According to Newall, users of streaming services like to have a choice, “but whether or not you opt for an ad-free experience is not going to be a determining factor when choosing a streaming platform and whether you keep it or whether you drop it.”

People say they don’t use other people’s passwords often — but they may discontinue a service if it starts charging more for that option.

Netflix estimates that 100 million homes use its service by sharing passwords with someone else who actually pays for the subscription. The company told investors it would roll out a plan early next year that would allow customers to pay a small fee to share accounts with people outside of their household.

But the NPR/Ipsos survey found that 50% of users say higher account-sharing fees would be an important factor in their decision to stop a streaming service (only 15% of respondents were more concerned about a crackdown on password sharing than about rising costs, where 83% expressed concern).

Seventy percent of streaming service users surveyed by NPR/Ipsos say they pay for all the services they subscribe to; Those numbers are not far from results from a spring survey by the Leichtman Research Group, which found that a third of Netflix subscribers share passwords. Only 3% of streaming subscribers in the NPR/Ipsos survey say they don’t pay for any services and watch all of their streaming TV by sharing passwords; 19% say they pay for most services but borrow passwords to view some platforms.

This is what survey participant Mia Brunkhorst does. The 28-year-old, who works as an instructional designer at Arizona State University in Tempe, pays for three streaming services and accesses a few others using the passwords of close relatives. But she doesn’t worry about additional fees for sharing passwords.

“I think even if they did charge an additional fee, that fee would be cheaper than paying for another Netflix subscription,” Brunkhorst said, adding that she thinks more people share account information than they admit to pollsters. “I absolutely don’t think only 19% of people share passwords.”

Users haven’t switched streaming services that often.

About 48% of users haven’t added or removed a streaming service from their subscription offerings in the past year; 31% have added or removed a service once in the last 12 months. And as sensitive as they are to price concerns, if their top streaming service increased their subscription fees by $5 per month, 58% would continue their subscription (that percentage drops to 33% if the price increased by $10 per month). month increases).

Users don’t spend much on streaming.

Respondents subscribed to an average of 3.55 streaming services per month, which cost $42.38 monthly. Compare that to an average cost of $79 a month for cable TV service, according to a survey on website cableTV.com published in March, which averaged the prices of 52 different plans.

But a significant number still feel an economic squeeze when it comes to the cost of streaming services, with 38% saying they’re spending more on subscriptions now than they were a year ago.

Streaming is becoming the future of television.

Back in July, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings predicted the end of linear television — television delivered over broadcast, cable, and satellite systems — in five to 10 years. The results of all 1,031 people contacted for the NPR/Ipsos survey — a nationally representative sample that includes those who don’t use streaming services — show that the scenario is rapidly taking shape.

Only 19% of Americans say they access television through aerial broadcasts. In contrast, 71% of Americans use streaming services, compared to 48% who use cable/satellite/fiber systems.

Respondents see diversity in streaming services… with one caveat.

Among respondents who use streaming services, a whopping 80% say streaming services do a good job of showing a variety of characters. A smaller number – still a respectable 60% – say streamers do a good job of showing characters that reflect THEIR identity.

According to Newall, these numbers show that subscribers generally like what they see on streaming services. “A majority feels … they see people like [themselves] reflecting, they like the content, they like what streaming platforms offer,” she told platforms or pay an arm and a leg for it.”

What streaming services do respondents (or someone in their household) subscribe to?

Netflix, 78%; Amazon, 72%; Hulu, 50%; Disney+, 47%; HBO Max, 36%; peacock, 27%; Superior+, 25%; Apple TV+ 19%; Discovery+, 9%.

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