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Seven Is Enough? Number of Streaming Services Used By U.S. Consumers Drops For the First Time

Family watching TV
(Image credit: FreePik)

The number of free and subscription streaming services regularly used on average by each U.S. consumer dropped to 7.06 in April from an all-time high of 7.23 in November, according to OMDIA. 

It’s the first time that the research company reported a decline.

“In the past, many have posited an ultimate limit to the number of services a consumer will be able to manage,” OMDIA said in a report released Tuesday at the Connected TV 2021 Summit in London. “With U.S. growth stumbling, many will be asking if seven is the new ceiling for video streaming video services (pay and free).”

Presenting the data, OMDIA analyst Maria Rua Aguete said, “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.

“It’s not that people want to watch less, but people don’t like to keep so many streaming services and log-ins,” she added. 

Rua Aquete also said that the rise of AVOD services has actually contributed to the decline, enticing consumers to use less of the streaming services operated by traditional cable and broadcast TV programmers. 

Not surprisingly, OMDIA said that Netflix remains the most popular U.S. streaming option, infiltrated into 57% of American homes, followed by Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney Plus and HBO Max. YouTube is the most popular free, ad-supported streaming option for U.S. consumers.