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The average number of video streaming services utilized per U.S. user has fallen for the first time, according to technology research firm Omdia.
In a Tuesday report, it said the figure declined from 7.23 in November to 7.06 in April.
“In the past, many have posited an ultimate limit to the number of services a consumer will be able to manage,” Omdia highlighted. “With U.S. growth stumbling, many will be asking if seven is the new ceiling for video streaming video services (pay and free).”
Indeed, Wall Street and other analysts have often argued that streamers with deep pockets and big global subscriber numbers, such as Netflix and Disney+, will be fine in an increasingly competitive space, but there could be a shake-out among smaller players.
While pay TV is “largely stable and SVOD continues to grow,” Omdia found that “a significant number of users are eschewing AVOD and instead increasingly consuming content via paid alternatives.” One reason is that entertainment giants’ AVOD services “draw viewers away” from TV networks’ VOD offerings, “reducing the overall number of services that a consumer must manage, while maintaining access to the same volume of content,” the firm argued.
Omdia senior research director Maria Rua Aguete presented the research at the Connected TV Summit 2021 in London on Tuesday. “After the 2020 explosion of VOD growth, we’re seeing a cooling of the market, partially driven by viewing habits normalizing and industry consolidation, but also from a wealth of new SVOD and studio services,” she said.
Outside of the U.S., Omdia’s survey found that the number of online services per home is continuing to rise, with the U.K. reaching 5.78 services per user.
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