Horowitz: OTT Claims Bigger Viewing Share

NEW YORK — Over-the-top services continue to claim more of Americans’ video viewing time, a new survey from Horowitz Research found.

Nearly 40% of viewers spend at least one-fifth of their viewing time watching OTT services such as Netflix, Hulu and Crackle, up from 31% of viewers in 2014, Adriana Waterson, senior vice president of marketing and business development for Horowitz, said in leading off the research organization’s Cultural Insights Forum here.

“About half of TV content viewers today have access to an over-the-top SVOD service that they either subscribe to or they access with someone else’s login,” she said, using the term for subscription (paid) video-on-demand outlets. “Whether you’re a pay TV subscriber, a subscription OTT subscriber or both, the bottom line is that you are a consumer in a market for a wide variety of fantastic entertainment content.”

As OTT viewing increases, the time spent watching live and recorded shows has decreased, according to Waterson. The survey (of 2,864 people, in January and February) finds OTT viewing as a percentage of all weekly video consumption has risen to 24% in 2015 from 14% in 2013. Live TV viewing has dropped to 54% from 58% two years ago.

Video-on-demand and DVR viewing declined to 16% overall from 20% in 2013, the survey found.

OTT services play a major role in millennials’ viewing. Horowitz reported that 90% of millennials (generally speaking, ages 18-34) have the capability to stream content to the television set. Overall, 82% of millennials have a multichannel-TV package. Millennials spend 46% of their weekly viewing time streaming video content compared with 30% of time spent watching live, scheduled television.

A silver lining for pay TV providers: Only three out of 10 millennials are considering cutting the cord, Waterston said. She found that 90% of older millennials, who have children, subscribe to pay TV.

Multicultural millennials are more likely than white millennials to subscribe to a pay TV package and are also less likely to cut the cord, according to Horowitz.

R. Thomas Umstead

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.