American consumers now enjoy more media options than ever and the boom in digital streaming means they are piecing together multiple services, yet the downside is that the sheer quantity of options can lead to frustration.

According to Deloitte, the professional services firm, nearly half (47%) of US consumers say they are frustrated by the growing number of subscriptions and services required to watch what they want.

An even higher proportion (57%) get frustrated when content vanishes from their streaming libraries because the rights have expired, 43% give up on searching for content if they can’t find it in a few minutes, 48% say they find content is hard to locate across multiple services, while 49% say the amount of content available makes it hard to choose what to watch.

Despite these concerns, Deloitte’s latest Digital Media Trends survey, which is based on responses from more than 2,000 consumers, reveals that the average US consumer now subscribes to three video streaming services, while 43% subscribe to both pay-TV and streaming services.

The popularity of streaming has reached such an extent that, for the first time in the survey’s history, more respondents have at least one streaming video subscription (69%) than have a traditional pay-TV subscription (65%).

But with more than 300 over-the-top video options now available in US, providers will need to be aware that a main reason consumers choose a particular service is to access content they can’t get anywhere else.

For example, Deloitte found that 57% of all paid streaming video users – and 71% of millennials aged 22 to 35 – say they subscribe to access original content.

“With more than 300 over-the-top video options in the US, coupled with multiple subscriptions and payments to track and justify, consumers may be entering a time of ‘subscription fatigue’,” said Kevin Westcott, Deloitte’s head of US telecom, media and entertainment.

“As media companies and content owners wrestle with how to retain and grow their subscriber base, they should not only continue to strengthen their content libraries, quality, distribution and value, but also keep a close eye on consumer frustrations, including advertising overload and data privacy concerns.”

Looking in more detail at Westcott’s last two points, the survey found that three-quarters (75%) of consumers say they would be more satisfied with their pay-TV service if there were fewer ads.

In addition, a full 44% of consumers cite “no ads” as a top reason to subscribe to a new paid streaming service. They also believe eight minutes of ads per hour is the right amount and that they would quit watching after 16 minutes.

Finally, although consumers believe they are responsible for protecting their data (49%), some 82% think companies don’t do enough to protect their data.

Sourced from Deloitte; additional content by WARC staff