One-third of Americans don’t access any OTT streaming services, according to a new survey. While it is clear that streaming is on the rise, there are some who have yet to start making use of additional services, instead opting to rely entirely on traditional pay-TV solutions, or no paid TV at all.
The latest data comes from market research firm, Piplsay, and is based on results provided by 50,063 Americans. The responses indicated that 15 percent of those surveyed still rely exclusively on pay-TV. In contrast, 28 percent only get their video fix from streaming services. The remainder was made up of 38 percent who subscribe to both and 19 percent who subscribe to neither streaming nor pay-TV services.
Another interesting result from the survey was the breakdown of paid versus free streaming services. For example 38 percent suggested their preference was for free streaming services. While that remains the minority in this case, it fits the general narrative that the AVOD model is continuing to grow in popularity. Which is likely why some of the biggest names in the industry are now trying to buy their way into the free, ad-supported market.
Streaming on the rise, but plenty still holding out
While there are issues with the methodology used for all samples and surveys, the results here do point out some interesting overall suggestions. For example, when taking account of the streaming-only and both camps, the survey suggests that two-thirds of those polled now use streaming services to some degree.
While the one-third is likely to include a number of consumers who just do not want to pay the prices associated with traditional pay-TV, the allure of cheaper and individual streaming services equally do not seem appealing enough. In fact, neither does the rise of the free streaming services.
Of course, a significant part of this one-third is going to come down to what’s referred to as the ‘digital divide.’ Having access to the internet to begin with remains an issue in the U.S., with a 2019 report by the Pew Research Center suggesting that as much as 10 percent (roughly 33 million) of Americans don’t access the internet.
However, those results relate to those who don’t use the internet and not specifically those without a sufficient internet connection. Having access to the internet is one thing but the quality of the streaming experience is going to be directly affected by the quality of the internet connection. On that note, the FCC released an update in 2019 pointing to 21.3 million Americans (at the end of 2017) with a broadband connection that failed to meet the Commission’s 25 Mbps/3 Mbps benchmark.