Skip to main content

Viewers Tapping Into Best of Both Distribution Worlds

An emerging group of viewers are subscribing to both traditional cable and streaming services in an effort to satisfy their voracious viewing habits, according to a new viewer study from Horowitz Research. 

The Horowitz State of Viewing & Streaming study reports that 15% of viewers -- defined by Horowitz as “Mega Omnivores” -- view content both through a traditional cable subscription as well as through virtual MVPDs such as DirecTV Now, YouTube TV and Sling TV. On a weekly basis, this group -- comprised mostly of younger, male-skewing viewers with high incomes -- streams its content 54% of the time, according to the report.

The online survey of more than 1,600 TV content viewers also reported that traditional television viewers remain the biggest group, with 35% of “5 O’Clock Diners” watching live TV content through traditional MVPDs or through antennas, according to the study. These viewers tend to be older, have a lower average income and are less likely to have children in the home, said Horowitz.

“Omnivores” -- viewers who only subscribe to an MVPD but occasionally stream content through services such as Netflix and Hulu -- comprise 30% of TV content viewers, according to the study.

“With more options than ever for accessing on-demand and live TV content, consumers have the freedom to build a customized viewing experience based on what they want to watch and how they want to watch it,” said Adriana Waterston, Horowitz’s senior vice president of insights and strategy in a statement. “The good news is that we see most consumers still wanting a robust experience that includes a wide variety of networks, viewing experiences, and both on-demand and live opportunities.”

Among the study’s other findings, 12% of TV content viewers (Content Paleos) stream all of their content, but don’t subscribe to a vMVPD; 6% (Flexitarian Lites) stream most of their content but have an antenna to watch live TV; and 3% (Flexitarians) -- who tend to be young and multicultural -- stream all of their content and also subscribe to a vMVPD, according to the report. 

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.