NEW YORK—A new report highlights the frustration many consumers face in an increasingly fragmented streaming landscape with the finding that streaming viewers are spending a record 10.5 minutes per session deciding what to watch.
The 2023 State of Play report on the fast-evolving streaming video landscape from Nielsen’s Gracenote found that that there were 1.9 million video titles available to viewers in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Mexico and Germany in July 2021, a number that had swelled to 2.7 million titles by June 2023.
Of the total count, a whopping 86.7% were available on streaming services. Compounding complexity, many popular shows now appear in multiple streaming catalogs, as the industry pivots from offering content exclusivity to broad distribution strategies that companies hope will balance massive streaming loses, the report noted.
The Gracenote analysis also found that audiences now have nearly 40,000 individual FAST channels, streaming providers and aggregators to choose from.
The complexity and fragmentation of the streaming landscape has become a particularly thorny problem given that new Nielsen data from The Gauge revealed that streaming accounted for 38.7% of total TV usage in July, a new record high. That same month, traditional TV viewing across broadcast and cable dropped below 50% for the first time.
Other data also highlights ongoing consumer frustration with streaming services. Recently Parks reported that nearly half (47%) of consumers churn in and out of services on an annual basis.
“As it was during the age of broadcast television, content is the lifeblood of the digital, streaming-first media ecosystem,” said Filiz Bahmanpour, vice president of product at Nielsen’s Gracenote, the content solutions business unit of Nielsen providing entertainment metadata, content IDs and related offerings to the world’s leading creators, distributors and platforms. “So a clear understanding of content – where it’s available, what it’s about and whom it’s attracting – is more critical than ever.”
The full report along with recommendations of how companies can improve content discovery and retain streaming subscribers can be accessed here.