U.S. Consumers’ Average Number of Streaming Services Dropped for the First Time





The past few years have seen an explosion of new SVOD service options, and with that, a rise in consumption. The year 2020 was the cherry on top with streaming at an all-time high. But what goes up must come down, right?

According to new data from research firm Omdia, the average number of streaming services per user fell for the first time, dropping from 7.23 in November to 7.06 in April 2021. While the decrease might seem slight, it is an indicator that there might be a ceiling on how many streaming services one person can really handle or justify having.

“In the past, many have posited an ultimate limit to the number of services a consumer will be able to manage,” Omdia highlighted. “With U.S. growth stumbling, many will be asking if seven is the new ceiling for video streaming video services (pay and free).”

We’ve recently talked about how the average consumer subscribes to 4 SVOD services. This data shows people are then supplementing their paid subscriptions with about 3+ free options. But Omdia says users are starting to shy away from free services in favor of their selected subscriptions, hence the recent drop overall.

“A significant number of users are eschewing AVOD and instead increasingly consuming content via paid alternatives,” Omdia reports, noting that cord cutters are likely to rotate through different paid services, subscribing for a short period of time based on specific content they want to watch and cancelling or pausing a subscription when they’re done watching that content.

Outside of the U.S., the research shows that the number of services per household is continuing to grow, with viewers in the U.K. now subscribing to 5.78 services.

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