OTT Video Penetration Continues to Reach New Heights

July 8, 2019

Some 64 million US households use OTT, which now reaches two-thirds (66%) of homes with WiFi. Nonetheless, while OTT streaming continues to rise, its growth has slowed, with only 7% year-over-year (y-o-y) growth in March 2019 compared to the 17% y-o-y growth it experienced a year earlier, per a new report [download page] from Comscore.

While more common-place digital devices like mobile and desktop computers have almost reached total penetration in US households, the reach of OTT devices such as streaming boxes/sticks, smart TVs, and gaming consoles continues to grow.

Streaming boxes or sticks remain the most used devices for OTT content viewing, by a total of 36.7 million households. However, smart TVs saw the most growth (23% y-o-y) to reach 29.8 million households (compared to 24.2 million in 2018).

While Americans seem to love their video games, not quite as many use their gaming consoles to stream OTT content. About 19.5 million households were streaming OTT content on their gaming consoles in March 2019, with 8% growth y-o-y.

Netflix Remains On Top

Comscore found that, while there are many OTT streaming apps available, the majority have little reach. Per its research, only 4 had 25% or higher reach among OTT streaming households. Of these OTT streaming services (Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Video and Hulu), Netflix of course has the widest penetration, being present in three-quarters (75% reach) of all US OTT streaming households. Netflix also appears to command significant loyalty, as Hub Entertainment Research found that Netflix was the network the most TV viewers would keep if they could only have one network.

To understand what kind of hold Netflix has on viewers, the service with the next highest reach, YouTube, had 55% reach among OTT streaming households in March 2019. Amazon Video reaches 44% of OTT households, but it’s worth noting that figures from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners put Amazon Prime subscriber membership in the US past the 100 million mark.

OTT Has Highest Penetration Among Cordless Households

Hulu, which by March 2019 reached about one-third (33%) of streaming households, over-indexed with cord-cutters (those households who have canceled their pay-TV services) and cord-nevers (those households which never subscribed to pay-TV services), with 52% and 40% reach, respectively.

Indeed, OTT penetration is higher among cordless households, having reached 77%, compared to the 66% of US households with WiFi. Comscore’s data also shows that OTT’s penetration among cable/satellite subscriber households is a lower 60%.

The higher penetration among cordless households is possibly due to cost. Almost two-thirds (63%) of OTT households have a household income of less than $100K. And, while 43% of subscriber households have an income of $100K or more, a relatively small percentage of cord-cutters and cord-never households are in that income range (26% and 30%, respectively).

It should be noted, however, that more than one-quarter (27%) of the estimated 31 million US cord-nevers say they plan on subscribing to a pay-TV service.

To read more, download the report here.

About the Data: The State of OTT is sourced from Comscore OTT Intelligence™, which is powered by OTT consumption data from 75+ OTT services and accounts for the overwhelming majority of OTT usage.

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