Half of online adults binge on streaming video

Editor | 01-03-2014

Online video has created an appetite that can’t be satisfied according to new Mintel research, which has found that nearly half of all online adults (46%) in the US watched video content in the past month using a subscription online video account.

The data also found that this figure increases to 71% when looking of all 18-34 year olds who are even more keen than other groups to consume original programming such as Orange is the New Black and House of Cards and make their case for compulsory binge-watching. Indeed Mintel suggests that the streaming media boom for television and movies is only just beginning.

“Virtually every large cable company, telco, or hardware and software brand is joining the streaming video market and we’re seeing big deals being put on the table to enhance viewers’ experiences,” observed Billy Hulkower, senior technology analyst at Mintel. “While copycat services might ordinarily be seen as lacking in points of differentiation, in the case of streaming video services, the elements of service are so few that each service will end up carrying each feature of its competitors, or fall by the wayside. Alternatively, brands can aim for differentiation via original content or via specialising in a specific genre.”

Such demand is also generating a boom in monetisation. Mintel calculates that with streaming video sales increasing roughly 25% in each year from 2011-13, resulting in a total increase in sales of $1.2 billion in 2013, total sales will reach over $16.7 billion by 2018.

Encouragingly for the industry, even though at present 41% of respondents are only willing to watch TV shows or movies online if they are provided free of charge, nearly three-fifths are open to paying for the online content. Similarly, only a quarter (24%) of respondents prefer to sit through commercials in order to view content for free, suggesting that three-quarters, when given the option, will prefer to pay to watch content instead of having commercial interruptions.