Over half of consumers want a streaming bundle option

The news: Nielsen’s “State of Play” report found that 64% of respondents desire a bundled streaming option that would let them subscribe to as many or as few services as they like, marking a significant change in consumer attitudes driven by the explosion of streaming competitors.

More on this: The last few years have witnessed the launch of streaming services that have increased the amount of available content significantly, but fractured it across several platforms.

  • Weekly time spent streaming video increased 18% year over year, matching an 18% rise in the amount of available content.
  • The percentage of consumers who subscribed to four streaming services increased from 8% in 2019 to 18% in 2022.
  • Despite Americans feeling they’ve reached streaming saturation, a survey found that 93% of consumers planned to either add another paid streaming service or make no changes to existing subscriptions.
  • Nearly half (46%) of respondents cited difficulty finding specific video content because of the number of available streaming services.

SVOD vs AVOD: Subscription-based video-on-demand (SVOD) services still reign supreme when it comes to streaming despite the explosion of ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) options. SVOD accounted for 53% of all streaming time, while AVOD accounted for 25%.

  • But despite SVOD’s dominance, AVOD is attracting more diverse audiences, which in turn is attracting advertisers. Thirty-nine percent of Tubi viewers and 36% of Paramount’s Pluto TV viewers are Black—over twice as many as linear TV.

Bundles on the horizon: Bundles are already surfacing in the streaming market, but the few that exist are limited to a specific company’s services and don’t address what appears to be a desire for something much broader.

  • Disney currently offers a bundle of Disney+, Hulu Live TV, and ESPN+, while Paramount plans to bundle Paramount+ and Showtime. The closest thing to what’s described in Nielsen’s report is Verizon Plus Play, a recently launched hub that allows users to manage subscriptions to streaming and nonstreaming services in one place.

Why it matters: Demand for a large bundle might only increase as the streaming wars heat up, locking more and more digital content behind platform exclusivity. Streaming services are currently warring over exclusive rights to live sports, Japanese animation, studio films, and more. If users find it difficult to hunt down specific content now, it might only become harder as time goes on.

  • Streaming has been at a saturation point for some time now, and the space is only going to become more divided and competitive. As more services pop up, consumers are growing frustrated with division and want access to content to be as frictionless as possible.

"Behind the Numbers" Podcast