“Too much choice” is the lament of British viewers faced with a growing array of SVOD options, and new research indicates a high level of inertia among existing subscribers.

According to media agency Mindshare, six in ten Britons (57%) say that with so many video subscription services emerging, it’s hard to choose what to pay for.

Among those who subscribe to paid streaming services, nearly three quarters (71%) intend to simply continue with their current subscriptions; just 8% said they will take out additional subscriptions or switch existing subscriptions for new ones.

The findings form part of Mindshare’s 2020 Trends report which will be released early in the new year; in it the agency questions whether growth in the subscription market can possibly match the huge levels of investment being made in the launch of new and existing TV streaming channels.

In the last month, BritBox and Apple TV+ have launched in the UK; next year will see the arrival of Disney+, NBC’s Peacock and mobile-only streaming service Quibi.

The study notes that the idea of managing multiple accounts and payments is a source of growing frustration; two thirds of Brits (64%) say so many new streaming services mean it will get too expensive to access everything they want to watch.

Consequently they’re open to alternative ad-funded models; more than half (55%) of consumers do not mind seeing commercials on streaming services if it means they get access to free content they enjoy.

When asked about the individual streaming services, most users were happy to see ads if they were able to watch or listen to the service for free.

Which of these platforms would you be happy to see ads on if it meant free access?

The advertising option is one obvious way to help encourage new adoption; bundling services to provide a single point of access to multiple streaming brands may be another.

But it seems clear that new streaming services can’t rely on their mere existence for success, said Scott Whitton, Head of AV at Mindshare. He suggested that they will have to develop “a far more sophisticated approach to understanding audiences and their preferences and tastes.

“In the end the people will decide whether so much more TV choice is sustainable,” he added.

Sourced from Mindshare; additional content by WARC staff