Global Streaming Statistics in the Post-Streaming Wars Era

Patricia Corral Alava
Updated July 28 2021
Global Streaming Statistics in 2021 - Viewers watching content using various devices
Patricia Corral Alava
Updated July 28 2021

As streaming has boosted to all-time peak consumption levels in recent years, we decided it’s the perfect time to analyze the profile of today’s viewers and outline key streaming statistics in the “Post-Streaming Wars Era: Takeaways From Viewers” report. Would you like to find out what consumers are expecting from their cloud TV service? Read on and we will summarize the main streaming trends for you!



Long Live the Big Screens

Yes, you read it right. Users like to consume their favorite content on big screens. Our beloved television, soon celebrating its 100th birthday, accounts for viewership of 62% of our survey respondents. It is by far the preferred device.


(24%) in consumers’ preferences, although in some countries like India they almost rival TV for the top spot.


Out of the people watching content on the big screen, smart TVs are the most popular devices on a global scale (38%), and their adoption becomes even more significant in certain geographies like Brazil (85%). Set-top-boxes (25%) and streamers like Roku and Fire TV (21%) are next. The latter represents the primary choice for watching television in the US for over 30% of Americans.



OTT Trends in a World of Choices

Having access to various streaming services and types of content is equally important for today’s consumers.


Over 60% of respondents use 3 or more different streaming services. Interestingly enough, the split on the edges reveals 15% of consumers are registered to only 1 service, a percentage equal to those registered to 5 or more services.


Not surprisingly, Netflix continues to be the leading OTT service, thanks to its well-established global dominance and vast expertise gained as an early streaming player. In second place comes Amazon Prime Video, followed by YouTube and Disney Plus.


When it comes to preferred types of content, live linear still dominates TV viewing (33%) followed closely by VOD (32%). While you may think live and VOD would completely dominate the market, the truth is, 25% of respondents picked catch-up TV or downloads as the preferred way to consume content.



Features Drive Consumption in Video Streaming Trends

Apart from having a broad choice in streaming platforms and content types, users are also expecting feature breadth from their service. In fact, advanced user experiences and feature-rich services seem to be some of the ultimate ways to win your audience over. When we tried to uncover the holy grail of features, we discovered there is no single feature that rules them all. Variety is the spice of life, they say, true for streaming features as well.


The ‘Continue Watching’ button appears as the most requested feature (61%) followed by content discovery (54%), and smooth transition between multiple devices (53%). Having access to other entertainment apps beyond TV (Spotify, for instance) (46%) also got a high ranking. Nevertheless, the viewers’ wish list encompasses much more than these functionalities.


Time-shifted TV, creating user profiles, or having a combination of content sources under a single platform (live, premium, on-demand, etc.) also appear in the top 10 ranks. This means cloud TV service providers must strive to always stay ahead of the curve, bringing all the latest and greatest features to their audience.



Content Discovery (Still) Raises Frustration

When it comes to frustration, 80% of respondents indicated there is a clear loose end: content discovery.  But surprisingly enough, it is just the second-rated reason for leaving a TV service (15%), following far behind ‘High pricing’ (61%).


The latter has become the main cause why users decide to unsubscribe from a streaming service according to our streaming statistics. Currently, 74% of respondents are paying for two or more content services, I guess that having access to various platforms seemed to be a fantastic idea until the monthly billing started to go up – if interested, you can further explore this topic on the white paper ‘Thriving in the new TV landscape – Tapping into the opportunities of the new TV bundle’.



Looking Beyond Our Core Offering

At this point, a cloud TV service provider might well ask: Are my viewers truly engaged with my service? Is there anything missing in my offer? And most importantly, do my viewers feel they get value for money?


Our survey data indicates that 76% are satisfied with their spending to date. But one thing is certain – there’s still room for introducing value to subscribers beyond price. In fact, this survey already yields some revealing data.


When asked what will most likely lead to watching more content in 2021 compared to 2020, most respondents (72%) selected better content recommendations. Moreover, 73% report disliking the need to browse multiple sources to find new content to watch. And following with convenience, 79% prefer to have a single bill for all their content providers.



Aggregation Strikes Back in the TV World

Staying relevant for today’s viewers requires adopting a holistic approach. With so many options available, the main appeal to viewers is not simply to find new content on their streaming service of choice but to do so quickly, easily, and affordably.


We have seen throughout this article that there is a growing need among consumers to enjoy a single consistent content experience for all types of content: live, on-demand, premium, and more. One day, they are expecting to access this one well-priced, feature-rich service to enjoy all their Pay TV and favorite OTT applications in one place. In this regard, we believe Cloud TV services that rely on super-aggregation could become key to finding a common ground for everybody. But of course, that is our opinion, and we would love to hear your thoughts based on the data from this report.


If you want to learn more about today’s streaming statistics and consumer behavior, even comparing streaming trends and consumption patterns between markets, we have it all covered in our full report ‘Post-Streaming Wars Era: Takeaways From Viewers‘. Believe me, it won’t leave you indifferent! If you are a heavy user of streaming video like me, you might even identify with the trends presented.

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