58% of Americans subscribe to more than one of the big three streaming services, says Leichtman

Streaming-TV monogamy still isn’t a thing, according to the latest survey by Leichtman Research Group (LRG). The Durham, New Hampshire, firm released its Emerging Video Services 2021 survey Aug. 31, finding that 58% of Americans subscribe to more than one of the big three of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu.

That share has grown dramatically over just the past five years. In 2016, LRG found only 28% of respondents saying they got more than one of those top-tier subscription video on demand (SVOD) services, but by 2019 the figure had hit 51%.

The study also found that 78% of all U.S. households sign up for at least one of those big three, unchanged from a year before and up from 59% in 2016.

Further, Leichtman’s study found almost as much growth in the time taken up by the top SVOD services: 41% of adults reported streaming one of them daily, up from 24% in 2016 and 33% in 2019.


In an email, Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst at LRG, added that the study found relatively little churn among those top three. Netflix did best, with some 4% of households saying they’d subscribed in the past year but no longer did; the figures for Amazon Prime and Hulu were 5% and 6%, respectively.

“Note that these are comparable to the percent of households that had a pay-TV service in the past year and currently do not at about 4%,” Leichtman added.

RELATED: U.S. pay TV providers lost 1.9M subs in Q1: Leichtman

Looking past Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, LRG’s survey surfaced further evidence of a buffet approach to streaming. When asked about 11 other streaming services — Apple TV+, BET+, Curiosity Stream, Discovery+, Disney+, EPIX, ESPN+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Showtime, and Starz — 53% of households said they had three or more and 27% reported having five or more.

Leichtman noted that households signed up for either Disney+ or HBO Max but not any of the big three accounted for 2% of U.S. households, while those signed up for one of the other 9 but not one of the big three added up to another 2%.

But, he added, these smaller contenders would be more vulnerable to churn.

“Churn has always been a challenge for lower-priced services, and this study found that it continues to be an issue, with the likelihood to stop subscribing to individual services in the next six months ranging from 9%-19%,” Leichtman wrote in that message.

This survey relied on a some 1,240 online responses and 760 phone responses (both landline and cell) over June and July from a random sample of adults “distributed and weighted to best reflect the demographic and geographic make-up of the U.S.,” LRG’s announcement said. It put the statistical margin of error for the overall survey at +/- 2.2%.