One-Third of U.S. Homes “Hop” Between Streaming Services

36% of streaming subscribers, roughly 32 million US households, are “service hoppers,” according to a new report.

“Hoppers” are defined as subscribers who switch between services and resubscribe to services multiple times within twelve months. The report details the challenges streaming providers face in engaging with subscribers.

In the early market, households would subscribe directly via an over-the-top (OTT) provider’s website, but the percentage of households subscribing directly via an OTT provider’s website declined from 41% to 29% between Q1 2020 and Q3 2021. Instead, households are taking multiple paths to video subscription, including through aggregators.

Some content providers are seeking to re-establish control over their viewers by not offering subscriptions via aggregators. In 2021, a substantial group of OTT households subscribed to an OTT service via Amazon Prime Video Channels, but that percentage could drop in the future, as HBO and HBO Max were removed from Amazon Prime Video Channels in September. Likewise, Disney+ is not available through major aggregators, and NBC recently announced it is moving many of its shows exclusively to Peacock and away from Hulu.

Whether direct subscriptions to individual services appeal to consumers remains to be seen as it could be more expensive to purchase multiple offerings separately instead of in bundles.

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Hanna Heller