Last week, our main monkey, Dave Goldberg, traveled to Sun Valley, Idaho for this year’s Sun Valley Conference. He also took a little time out beforehand to chat with Jon Erlichman of Bloomberg TV for this month’s SurveyMonkey Shakedown. For our latest installment, we wanted to learn about consumers’ TV viewing habits–do cable/satellite services still hold as much power over the living room now that streaming services like Netflix and Apple TV are in the TV-viewing game?
We surveyed over 500 Americans using SurveyMonkey Audience, a powerful product designed to get insights from a specific target audience, to find out. Check out our survey results below.
Cable still rules. Most watch only via cable TV (Comcast, Time Warner, etc.)
- Half of respondents who report watching cable TV only are 60 years and older.
- Over a quarter (22%) watch a combination of cable TV and streaming services and 31% of 18-29 year olds say they watch both.
- 16% prefer to watch satellite TV (Dish Network, DirecTV, etc).
- A little over 10% of people use streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Hulu.
- Age makes a difference! Over a quarter of 18-29 year olds say they prefer streaming services (27%).
Bundlers are breaking up. Those who use both cable/satellite and streaming services are considering a change.
- 60% of those that use both cable or satellite AND streaming services say they’re thinking of dumping cable/satellite in next 12 months.
- Major change since nearly three quarters of bundlers use cable/satellite more often than their streaming services, however over half of 18-29 year-olds who bundle say they stream more often.
Original content is a strong streaming draw.
- Viewers who use cable/satellite and streaming primarily use streaming to watch original shows not available on cable or satellite (24%).
- A quarter of respondents say they watch older TV programs that are no longer airing current episodes.
- Only 17% surveyed say they watch current new release movies.
- Only 5% of bundlers say they primarily use cable/satellite for on-demand TV programs and nobody uses cable/satellite for on-demand movies.
- Most (28%) primarily use their cable or satellite TV service for watching non-network TV programs (shows on Discovery, AMC, etc.) and over a quarter of respondents use it for network TV programs.
- Live sports and news are not big draws with only 8% saying they use on-demand for watching live sports. 5% watch their local news and only 5% for the national news.
Those using ONLY cable TV to watch television love their Internet service.
- Nearly half of respondents say they don’t use streaming services because they have the same provider for cable TV and Internet services and don’t want to unbundle.
- 29% cited the fact that not all of the programs they watch are available via streaming services.
- A quarter of people said that quality is the reason they don’t use streaming services. Avoiding skips, delays or lower resolution while watching streaming TV is important to them.
- Large chunk of viewers are no longer streaming: 40% have used streaming services and have since stopped.
Cable-only users may cancel service in the next year.
- A third of respondents are considering cutting off their service within the next 12 months.
- 27% say they’re “moderately to slightly likely” to cancel and only 4% say they’re “very or extremely likely”.
- #1 reason why? Save money. Less than a quarter of people are thinking of switching to satellite TV for cost-saving reasons and 16% are considering switching to streaming.
Streamers watch less tube than those tied to cable or satellite–they’re also fans of frugality and convenience.
- Of those that only use streaming services, more than two-thirds (67.8%) say they watch two hours of TV or less per day.
- Nearly the same amount (63%) of those who watch only via cable or satellite watch 2 hours of TV or MORE per day.
- Almost a third of these same folks cancelled their cable/satellite TV service in the past 12 months with the primary reason being cost.
- Cost and convenience cited as the top two reasons people use streaming services.
- More than half (58.5%) indicate that streaming services are cheaper than cable/satellite and a third say that streaming is more convenient for on-demand programming than cable/satellite services.
23% have free streaming services bundled into their cable or satellite TV package.
- Majority of folks (34%) rarely watchtheir free streaming services with 6% sharing that they never watch.
- 20% are “extremely likely” to keep their cable or satellite service for the purposes of accessing free streaming services and 22% saying they’re “not at all likely”.