There’s been plenty of complaints before about the proliferation of streaming services and how there are already too many to keep track of. Those complaints will likely skyrocket when four more major ones – Apple, Disney+, WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal – join the fray in the next year.
Now, according to Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report, the abundance of availability combined with the confusion of content being siloed off into specific services is leading to a paralysis of choice due to too many possibilities.
The report indicates among adult SVOD users, only 33% browse the menu of a streaming service to find content to watch, with 21% saying they give up watching if they can’t decide. Indeed having access to hundreds of shows and movies means the decision-making process takes time – the average U.S. adult takes 7.4 minutes to make a selection on a streaming service with the younger demographics taking longer (9.4 minutes) while older viewers give up after five minutes.
70% of U.S. homes now have an SVOD service and 72% use streaming-capable TV devices. Total media consumption by consumers also remains robust with intake across all forms of media measured at an average of 11 hours and 27 minutes per day – up by 21 minutes from the same time last year.
One of the analysts behind the report says: “Think about the last time that you or loved ones decided to sit down and watch TV, listen to new tunes or stream a program. Were you stuck in decision purgatory, endlessly checking out previews unable to make an actual choice? How long were you there? And how much do you think the paradox of choice costs programmers, content owners, brands and marketers? Surely nobody wins when potential consumers get frustrated by the amount of choice, or simply unappealing options, and ultimately decide to just go to sleep instead.”