Study: Nearly Half of Americans Will Watch the Super Bowl Digitally


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49% of the total Super Bowl audience will be watching the Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI on February 13 digitally, while the other 51% will be watching on cable or broadcast TV, according to digital marketing agency Adtaxi’s annual Consumer Streaming Trends and Super Bowl Viewership survey. 

“With all eyes on Super Bowl LVI, these survey results offer insight into how marketers should maximize their reach. With nearly half of Americans (46%) utilizing digital media while watching the big game, it will be important for marketers to prioritize multiple platforms,” said Chris Loretto, EVP of Adtaxi. “The key to resonating on these social and streaming platforms will be a voice and strategy that is highly adaptable to changing circumstances and evolving preferences.”

The Super Bowl will be an interactive experience for as much as 54% of respondents, with 31% planning on using social media, 15% will be on a sporting website, and 8% will be using online forums while watching the action on the gridiron. Even though over half of the respondents will be enjoying the game in virtual social settings, a majority of Americans will be skipping larger social gatherings. Only 25% plan on watching the NFL’s championship game outside of their homes, and 43% of Americans plan to watch it alone, or with family at home.

The online survey was conducted on January 14, 2021, through Survey Monkey with a national sample of 1,127 adults across the U.S. representing various income levels, genders, and ages. Super Bowl viewers were represented by 772 respondents, who indicated they plan to consume the Super Bowl.  

“It is no surprise that consumers are favoring the convenience of streaming services,” said Loretto. “The results of the survey underscore the importance of capitalizing on digital audiences and is a continuation of years-long consumer trends towards convenience, cost-efficiency, and personalization in media consumption.”

By using digital means to view content, consumers have high engagement levels with TV streaming. 92% of respondents stream some form of TV/Video content, and 64% make streaming their default setting when they check for content. Connected TV is the most popular way consumers stream (64%), followed by Smartphone/Mobile (54%), and/or Laptops (38%).

Other takeaways from the survey:

  • Fewer than 40% of Americans still pay for cable
  • 36% of subscribers turn to cable first when they turn on the TV
  • The number of Americans who plan to cancel their cable subscription has increased year-over-year: 28% in 2020, 31% in 2021, and 33% in 2022
  • 22% of cord cutters prefer binge-watching shows, and 27% want to watch at their own schedule
  • 33% of Americans believe ads on streaming services are applicable to their personalities and preferences, which beats the 23% combined for cable (13%) and broadcast TV (10%)
  • 77% of TV streamers get the majority (over 50%) of their content via streaming services.
  • One-third of TV streamers obtain 100% of their TV/Video content from streaming services

Streaming Service Preferences of the Past 30 Days

Survey respondents were asked which streaming service had they used in the past 30 days with the results below.

ServiceNetflixAmazon PrimeYouTube TVHulu & Disney+HBO Max
Percent of Respondents71%63%53%44%32%

Of the 30 services listed on the survey, Netflix was also the service that respondents used most often with 38%, which is over double when compared to second-place YouTube’s 14%.

“We can anticipate continued declines due to viewing preferences and cost, the multitude of streaming-capable devices over TV sets in the home, and increased competition directly from Streaming services. Comcast alone lost 1.5 million TV subscribers in 2021,’ said Adtaxi Director of Research, Murry Woronoff. ”It is clear that cord-cutting will continue moving forward and we can expect it to continue at its current brisk pace in 2022.” 

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