Study: Streaming has Surpassed Traditional TV as the Go-To Source for Entertainment

Streaming has become a huge part of our everyday lives, and the default when it comes to choosing where to watch TV and movies. A new study by Hub Research shows that as of 2021, 55% of viewers say online and OTT sources are their default source for TV viewing, compared to 50% in 2020, and 47% in 2019. In comparison, just 39% still default to watching traditional pay TV this year, down from 42% in 2020 and 47% in 2019.

As far as viewers’ go-to streaming service, Netflix used to be the clear favorite but has lost a bit of momentum as new options pop onto the streaming market. The OG streamer peaked in 2018 and 2020 with 23% of viewers saying it was their default source for TV viewing, but has since slid to 20% in 2021. While that’s not much, the downward trend is only expected to continue as the newer services like Disney+, HBO Max, and others gain larger appealing content libraries.

Although no single other streaming TV service comes close to Netflix as a default for TV, the four other most popular streamers (Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and HBO Max) have collectively gained 4 points in just the past year.

“Like most other phenomena in the new TV landscape, the TV sources that viewers’ treat as their TV home base seem to be in a state of constant flux. Just when it looked like Netflix was set to become the center of consumers’ TV universe, other streamers have stepped up their game to change the narrative,” said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study.