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U.S. streamers watch nearly 44 hours of video per week, study says

A research analyst with Parks Associates said streamers are watching more free, ad-supported content — and that might lead to higher churn across subscription-based services.

A research analyst with Parks Associates said streamers are watching more free, ad-supported content — and that might lead to higher churn across subscription-based services.

Stock image of remote control in front of a television set.
(Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters)

American television viewers stream more than 6 hours of content per day or about 43.5 hours of video per week across different devices, according to a new study released by Parks Associates this week.

The study reflects an increase of about 45 minutes per day or 6 hours per week in the total amount of video watch on a weekly basis compared to similar data cited by Parks Associates in 2023.

The report included a number of streaming video platforms, including subscription offerings like Netflix and Prime Video; free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels and related platforms like Pluto TV, Tubi and Xumo Play; and cable-like streaming services such as YouTube TV, Fubo and Philo.

The second category of streaming video is becoming more popular with Americans, with 50 percent saying they use a FAST platform on TV, their phone, tablet or computer at least once per week, according to Parks Associates.

The figures were released in the research firm’s report called “The Viewer Journey: Navigating Streaming Options,” which was published earlier this week.

“Video-viewing households report watching on average more than 21 hours per week on a TV, accounting for half of their viewing hours,” Sarah Lee, a research analyst at Parks Associates, said in a statement. “Video consumption on a cell phone continues to rise: Excluding social video sources, U.S. Internet households spend 6.5 hours per week watching video on a smartphone and 3.9 hours on a tablet. TVs are still the main video-viewing device, but platform usage continues to diversify.”

While free streaming platforms are seeing rapid adoption, subscription-based services continue to dominate in most homes, with 78 percent saying they watch a SVOD service like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus or Max on a weekly basis. Around 67 percent of homes say they watch user-generated content from apps like TikTok and YouTube across the same time period.

Lee predicted that the increase in people watching user-generated content and FAST platforms might ultimately spur a trend of people leaving subscription-based services in favor of free, ad-supported options.

“The flexibility and convenience that on-demand services offer is highly appealing to viewers, but many households enjoy a balance between finding something to watch and watching what they find,” Lee said. “Given the popularity of FAST and user-generated content, consumers may soon decide they do not need to subscribe to as many services as they do now.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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