Consumers spent nearly 19 percent of their television time during Q4 2019 streaming content, according to a special streaming wars edition of the 2020 Nielsen Total Audience Report, which for the first time has utilized smart television data from Gracenote.

The report also found that 60 percent of US consumers subscribe to more than one paid video streaming service and 93 percent say they will either increase or keep their existing streaming services. Among time spent streaming, Netflix accounted for 31 percent followed by 21 percent for YouTube, 12 percent for Hulu, eight percent for Amazon and 28 percent for other services.

Consumers cited cost (84 percent), ease of use (81 percent), variety of content (79 percent), streaming and playback quality (77 percent) and speed (74 percent) as the top five attributes that make a streaming service attractive. When asked why they canceled a paid video subscription service, 42 percent of respondents said they didn’t use it enough to justify the cost.  

The report also found that through December 2019, viewers had access to 646,152 unique program titles, up 10 percent from 2018. 

As for why consumers subscribe to additional paid video streaming services, the primary reason was to expand the content that they had available.

Nielsen also included stats on the streaming audio, which on smartphones reached 64 percent of US adults in Q3 2018, up 19 percent from the year prior. Streaming audio on tablets, the firm says, reached 25 percent while radio and satellite reached 92 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

The bottom line: content is king. Streaming provides marketers an opportunity to easily reach consumers in the digital age. Content creators and rights owners will have more power as streaming grows, but platforms must continue generating high-quality content and lots of it. Otherwise subscribers will lose interest as 20 percent of consumers said they canceled a service after watching all the content they were interested in.