Download the Report: Streaming or Struggling


Report: Streaming or Struggling

October 2022

Report summary

The first half of 2022 was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad time for the
video streaming sector: Netflix lost nearly 1.2 million subscribers globally in H1, while Warner Bros. Discovery shuttered CNN+ less than a month after it launched and then shelved several films with eight-figure budgets after not being able to justify those straight-to-streaming expenditures. With linear TV’s continued decline on the horizon, streaming is still key to media companies’ longevity, but the less-than-sunny events that occurred have rightfully caused many to temper their streaming industry growth expectations. It also means companies must ponder the best way to readjust their subscription strategies to work smarter — not harder — in pursuit of growth, including the pursuit of lower-priced, ad-supported services.

Key Takeaways

  • Price — not content — is a major reason why the SVOD ceiling stands where it is: Over 6 in 10 U.S. adults said that video streaming services being too expensive is a ”major reason” why they don’t pay to subscribe to any streamer.
  • Forthcoming ad tiers will help retain subscribers, particularly younger ones: While 14% of U.S. streaming service subscribers said that they already have switched over from one service’s ad-free plan to its lower-cost, ad-supported plan in the last 12 months, that figure was 18% and 22% for Gen Z adults and millennials, respectively.
  • The old guard of streaming has held its own against the new guard: At least 42% of U.S. adults said they subscribed to Netflix, Prime Video or Hulu in September 2022, a figure that eclipses that of any streaming service that launched after this trio of streamers.
  • Netflix, Disney+ will see meaningful growth due to forthcoming ad tiers As of August, only 24% of all U.S. adults said the majority of what they watch on video streaming services is ad-supported content, hinting that there is much room for ad-supported video streaming growth.


The analysis featured in this report is based on MorningConsult Research Intelligence surveys conducted in March, May, July, August and September 2022. All surveys (save for the March 3-15 survey) were conducted among representative samples of roughly 2,210 U.S. adults each, with unweighted margins of error of +/-2 points. The March 3-15 survey was conducted among samples of roughly 1,000 adults across 14 countries, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-3 points. This report also cites data from Morning Consult Brand Intelligence, our proprietary brand tracking platform that conducts daily surveys of consumers in 44 countries.

About the author

A headshot photograph of Kevin Tran
Kevin Tran
Senior Media & Entertainment Analyst

Kevin Tran previously worked at Morning Consult as the senior media & entertainment analyst.