June 12, 2017

What Behavioral Data Tells Us About the OTT Viewing Habits of Cord-Cutters

Mike Rich Mike Rich
VP, Emerging Products

There have been many studies about pay-TV cord-cutters, but nearly every analysis relies on on self-reported survey data that can’t fully measure important details about viewing behavior.

comScore recently analyzed the over-the-top (OTT) viewing habits of households in our “Total Home” behavioral measurement panel – those which previously subscribed to cable or satellite, but no longer do so. This behavioral data provides a more detailed look at how cord-cutters’ viewing patterns differ from other audiences.

The data from this first-of-its-kind study was based on measuring March 2017 behavioral OTT viewing data for the approximately 870 cord-cutting homes in our 12,500+ household panel. This data was then weighted and projected to the represent the proportion of Wi-Fi homes in the U.S. who have cut the cord. We also analyzed data from more than 4,700 homes who watch OTT content and also subscribe to pay-TV.

While the average OTT viewing home in the U.S. spends 49 hours a month viewing OTT content, cord-cutter homes consume 79 hours of OTT content a month (2.5 hours per day) – about 60 percent more than the average. That may sound like a lot but it pales in comparison to traditional TV viewing; the average US household watched 225 hours of linear TV content in March. In other words, these cord-cutting households seem to have less of an overall appetite for television content, which may explain their decision to cut the cord.

Without pay-TV competing for their attention, cord-cutters do tend to watch quite a bit more OTT content. They spend 41 percent more time on Netflix, 47 percent more time on YouTube, 45 percent more time on Amazon Video, and 13 percent more time on Hulu compared to the average OTT viewer.

 

Cord-cutters are more likely to use a streaming box or stick to power their OTT viewing habits. These devices are present in 71 percent of cord cutting homes vs. 59 percent of all OTT viewing Wi-Fi homes. Interestingly, cord-cutters are slightly less likely to use game consoles (43 percent penetration) and connected TVs (42 percent penetration) than the average Wi-Fi home. This seems to suggest that these consumers actively seek out and use a “streaming first” device when electing to cut the cord.

Cord-cutters are more likely to have annual incomes of $75k or less, and the lower the income, the more likely to be a cord-cutter. Homes with annual incomes of $60k to $75k are 8 percent more likely to be cord-cutters compared to the average OTT viewing Wi-Fi enabled home. Homes with income between $40k and $60k, are 14 percent more likely, while those homes with less than $40k annual income are 20 percent more likely. The homes least likely to cut the cord are homes with incomes between $75k and $150k.

 

Analyzing the behavioral data of cord-cutters allows us to dive deeper into the viewing habits of these important consumers in ways that self-reported survey data cannot. Once the cord has been cut, it can be difficult to understand what behaviors are taking the place of pay-TV. Leveraging behavioral data allows us to truly understand what’s happening inside the cord-cutting home and what that might tell us about the future of content consumption.

To uncover more OTT consumption insights, join us for our “State of OTT” webinar on June 20, 2017 at 2 p.m. Eastern/11 a.m. Pacific.

Contact us to find out how comScore can help you measure this evolving market.

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State of OTT Webinar