Now that the cable cutting revolution is well underway, streaming video providers are scrambling to understand the still-developing and ever-changing market in order to better understand what consumers want from their streaming services. To help the industry better get a grip on consumer behaviors and preferences, market research giant Neilsen released a special “Streaming Wars edition” of its annual Nielsen Total Audience Report. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the report reveals that cost and content are the two most important factors consumers reported taking into consideration when choosing a streaming service. 

In the new data released this week, Neilsen reports that Americans in homes with at least one dedicated streaming device spend nearly one fifth of their TV time watching streaming video. The data also show that Netflix remains on top with a healthy 31% of total streaming time among those households, followed by all “Others” at 28%, YouTube at 21%, Hulu at 12%, and Amazon Prime Video at 8%.

As part of the survey that led to its new report, Neilsen asked consumers what their most important attributes were in terms of choosing which streaming services to subscribe to. 84% of respondents answered that “cost” is an “extremely/very important” factor, while 81% said that “ease of use” was likewise one of the most important considerations.

Meanwhile, 79% reported that the quality of content available to a streaming service was extremely or very important. Streaming video providers have been spending hand-over-fist on exclusive and original content in recent years, which makes sense given how highly consumers rate content as a deciding factor as to which streaming services they subscribe to.

The value consumers place on cost and content is further demonstrated by the fact that 42% of respondents said they weren’t using any streaming services enough to make the cost of subscription worth it. If services can’t keep enough high-quality content flowing, clearly consumers will come crawling back to cable or other means of watching video.

The full Neilsen report can be read here.

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