Streaming Users “Overwhelmed,” Desire Return to Old-Fashioned TV

in Movies & TV

disney plus presentation

Credit: ABC

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, streaming services like Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, Hulu, and — once the king of them all — Netflix became a primary source of entertainment in American households.

disney plus menu screen
Credit: Disney

Related: Struggling Netflix Officially Receives First NC-17 Rating

With the rise of streaming services, of course, though, came more competition than most viewers ever originally dreamed there would be in the space.

Now, a new Nielson study has found that most streaming users have become “overwhelmed” by all of the options that are available to them, and that many even desire a return to a more old-fashioned style of television, in which they select certain services and bundle them — similar to choosing various cable channels and paying for a single package every month.

the mandalorian the volume soundstage
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘The Mandalorian’ Is (Still) Doing One Huge Thing That ‘WandaVision’ Can’t

Nielson’s “State of Play” report notes:

The list of unique program titles in the U.S. tops 817,000 and continues to grow, much like the array of streaming platforms and apps that deliver many of those titles. There is no mistaking consumer appetites for streaming content, as 72% of Americans say “I love my user experience with video streaming services,” and 93% plan to increase their streaming options or make no changes to their existing plans. But the vastness of platform choice has become overwhelming for audiences.

Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley (left), Joe Keery as Steve Harrington (middle), and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson (right)
Credit: Netflix

Related: Jennifer Lawrence Blasts DiCaprio & Chalamet, Filming Was “Misery and Hell”

Perhaps one of the reasons TV fans are overwhelmed is the fact that it is nearly impossible to get by with a single service due to the fact that many popular series — such as Stranger Things (Netflix), The Mandalorian (Disney+), Loki (Disney+), The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu), and Euphoria (HBO Max) — all air on different streamers.

disney plus mcu timeline
Credit: Screenshot via Disney+

Related: Marvel and ‘Star Wars’ Are Making Streaming History This Week

Nielson executive Brian Fuhrer told The Hollywood Reporter:

“We’ve entered the next phase of streaming, based on the trends we have been detailing about streaming over the past few years. We’ve moved from infancy into adolescence, and all the complexities that one would expect at that point. It’s not just that streaming is increasing year over year. Now consumers want access simplified and the explosion of services has renewed discussions around bundling and aggregation. Ultimately, these challenges signal an opportunity as the industry harnesses streaming for long-term business growth.”

Billy, Tommy, Wanda, Vision - WandaVision
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Disney Takes Control of Popular Series, Netflix Fights to Save 750,000 Subscribers

64% of Nielson’s respondents would love a “cable-like” bundle that allowed them to choose which services they wanted in order to pay a monthly flat fee. However, this is not yet an actual option for American households.

What do you think about the future of streaming?

View Comments (2)