Wednesday, February 21, 2024

More are streaming free content

A report from Cord Cutters News says that the number of streamers that are watching free ad supported television (FAST) content is increasing. If the report is accurate, I think this is good. It means streamers are getting more sophisticated in their approach. But first, the "if the report is accurate" part needs some exploring.

The report cites Neilsen ratings in it's top ten streaming platforms for 2024.

Here Are The Top 10 Streaming Services:

  • YouTube: 8.6 percent
  • Netflix: 7.9 percent
  • Prime Video: 2.8 percent
  • Hulu: 2.7 percent
  • Disney+: 1.9 percent
  • Peacock: 1.6 percent
  • Tubi: 1.5 percent
  • Max: 1.3 percent
  • Roku Channel: 1.1 percent
  • Paramount+: 09 percent
  • Pluto TV: 0.7 percent

*Note: YouTube is for the main site not YouTube TV and Hulu is for the video-on-demand not the live TV service.

Here's the catch: the story cited and linked, as least as I write this, is from June 2023. That's nearly eight months ago. While it does show an increase over previous ratings, eight months is a long time, and the trend may not be holding.

For now, let's assume the data holds and the conclusion is accurate. If so, that is good news as I see it.

It means that more people aren't simply looking for cable in a streaming environment. When I broke free of cable, I got and enjoyed a new way to watch TV. I don't want that to go away. I want something different from cable. YouTube TV, Sling TV, Hulu+Live TV, DirecTV streaming, and other platforms are simply cable TV repackaged as streaming. In fact, Sling TV is owned by Dish, and DirecTV streaming is exactly what the name says it is: DirecTV streaming.

The other bit of good that I see is that people are discovering that it's not necessary to pay to watch good content. I dropped Netflix because there isn't content I want to pay for. Same with the other pay services. I'll occasionally rotate services around, subscribing to one a month, but I'm not even doing that anymore. I've found enough to watch for free.

My Streaming Life started as a way to pay less for watching TV. It's continued to be that for me, and it appears it's becoming more of that for others as well.

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