Streaming content provides unfettered freedom, yet viewers struggle to “rein it in”

Streaming content provides unfettered freedom, yet viewers struggle to “rein it in”

Recently, Invoke’s Media + Entertainment team conducted the first in a series of webinars focused on uncovering the “whys” behind current shifts in video consumption behaviors: Who are today’s content curators? And who do viewers trust to bring them the content they want to watch?

Viewers want access to everything and are eager to take control of curating their own “line-up.”

It’s not surprising that many find streaming to be easier than watching live channels, especially for Millennials who have grown up in a world full of on demand content. However, volume of content doesn’t always mean they can find something they want to watch, leaving some viewers frustrated.



Fading are the days when viewers had to wait a week or more in between episodes (or even seasons) of their favorite shows.

Thanks to streaming, viewers are free to binge-watch an entire seasons in the span of a night.   Of the 8 in 10 who have binge-watched a show, nearly two-thirds watched 4 or more episodes in one sitting.

Moreover, binging has changed the nature of content trial.  Roughly 1 in 3 viewers will hold back for a few episodes to see how it plays out before sampling.   This is even truer among Millennials, where nearly half will wait a few episodes before giving a new series a try.

“I don’t have a lot of time, so I want to wait a bit and make sure the show will stick around before I commit to it.” (Female, GenX)

 “It’s not uncommon for new shows to have a solid premise for one episode and then fall apart when the writers have to think of more. There are exceptions, but I generally jump in when the word is a series is consistently good.” (Male, Millennial)

In their hunt for access to everything, most viewers see OTT options as a supplement, not a replacement to cable or satellite providers.

Increased choice and ease of subscription has made changing providers and bulking up on content easier than ever before.  The desire to access specific content drives choice.   Yet, cable and satellite providers also show the greatest risk to defection relative to their over the top counterparts.



“I’m currently subscribed to Hulu and I keep going back and forth about dropping.  It’ll probably depend on my interest level in YouTube Red. I’ve heard a lot about it, but I want to know more about the content before I decide.” (Male, Millennial)


“I am dropping Netflix in favor of my Amazon Prime service for now until there is more new content to choose from on Netflix again.” (Male, Boomer)

Yet, enthusiasm is tempered by price, especially for those with legacy multichannel video providers. 3

“I am more likely to upgrade to more channels on Sling TV. They are constantly adding new channels to their lineup and are affordable as well. They allow you choose the packages you want as well. Helps to lower your cable bill as well by purchasing the channels you want.” (Male, GenX) 

“I dropped cable last Saturday and switched to over the air – I already use Netflix, Amazon Video, and You Tube.  I will be looking at Hulu and Crackle and whatever else I can find. My cable was costing $100 and – seriously, I only watched about 6 of all those channels, some of which I can get over the air.” (Male, Boomer)

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