NEW YORK: More than half (55%) of American households now subscribe to at least one video streaming service, collectively spending $2.1bn a month on services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, a new survey has found.

Based on responses from 2,088 US consumers, professional services firm Deloitte said that meant the number of households that subscribe to video streaming has increased 450% since 2009.

Its 2018 Digital Media Trends Survey, now in its 12th edition, also revealed a drop in pay TV subscriptions for the first time in recent years – 63% of US households still subscribed to pay TV in 2017, Deloitte reported, down from 75% in 2016.

Nearly half (46%) of all paying TV subscribers said they were dissatisfied with their service and 70% of consumers felt they got too little value for their money.

Interestingly, 56% of current pay TV subscribers said they still keep their pay TV because it’s bundled with their home internet access, while 22% of millennials reported that they have never subscribed to a pay TV service.

Indeed, the shift to streaming is particularly pronounced among younger audiences, and Deloitte said the trend “is largely driven by a desire for high-quality, original video content, along with the ability to view this content whenever and wherever they want”.

According to the findings, 70% of Gen Z households have a streaming subscription, closely followed by millennials (68%) and Generation X (64%).

Describing these younger generations collectively as “MilleXZials”, Deloitte also confirmed the popularity of binge-watching among young audiences. It said 91% of Gen Z binge-watch TV shows, followed by 86% of millennials and 80% of Gen X.

“Millennials were the first generation to embrace streaming media and watching video content on smartphones,” said Dr Jeff Loucks, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Technology, Media and Telecommunications.

“Some hoped that as millennials got older, they would settle down and watch pay TV. Instead, their Gen X parents are acting more like millennials, using streaming services, watching TV shows, movies and sports on smartphones and binge-watching,” he added.

Also commenting on the findings, Kevin Westcott, vice chairman and US media and entertainment lead at Deloitte, said: “As video streaming and demand for original content continue to grow, traditional and premium cable broadcasters will continue to rethink their business models.

“Media companies are increasingly going direct-to-consumer with their own digital streaming services and snackable content.”

Sourced from Deloitte; additional content by WARC staff