Plex: 68% of viewers find it 'nearly impossible' to get through streaming watchlist

Figuring out what to watch and how to watch it seem to be persistent questions in the streaming world. New research from Plex unveiled the average U.S. consumer has around 13 TV shows and 16 movies on their streaming watchlist – averaging a total of 104 hours.

Plex commissioned OnePoll to conduct a survey of 2,000 U.S. residents, 68% of whom said their watchlist was so lengthy, it’s “nearly impossible” for them to get through it.

Just under half of consumers (43%) find their watchlist is consistently getting longer, with others (29%) saying their list is already too long. And 25% of viewers find their list of planned movies and shows “overwhelming.”

Overabundance of content is unsurprising, given the average consumer is using around nine streaming services, per recent TiVo data. Over half of U.S. viewers said they spend around half an hour flipping through four different streaming channels before deciding what to watch, Plex found.

Although most consumers (58%) consider keeping an organized watchlist a ‘must,’ choosing content is easier said than done. Out of those who can’t figure out what to watch, 56% said they turn off the TV to find something else to do, while 55% opt to re-watch a show or movie.

Plex has aimed to alleviate what it calls “the streaming struggle,” adding earlier this year a one-stop navigation for all a user’s paid and free streaming services.

"With new content constantly being released to streaming services, it can be difficult to keep track of it all," said Jason Williams, product director at Plex, in a statement.

"With Plex Universal Watchlist, consumers can easily stay updated on their favorite movies and shows across all major streaming platforms, even as their favorite content moves or becomes available on other services,” he added.

Most consumers prefer accessing multiple services through one device, according to Hub Entertainment Research, saying aggregation improves the user experience.

But when streaming aggregation will happen on a wider scale is still uncertain. Speaking at this year’s StreamTV Show, Plex Chief Product Officer Scott Olechowski said he doubts aggregation will happen anytime soon, as there’s currently “a lot of really exciting competition across the board” with content providers.

Roku also aims to alleviate saturation in streaming content. The latest version of its operating system will add new personalized categories and other features to help users more easily decide what to watch.