September 15, 2021

2021 Decoding the Default

Hub’s Decoding the Default study identifies which sources consumers consider their “home base” for TV—the *first thing* they turn on when they want to watch TV

Hub first fielded Decoding the Default in 2013, when stacking of TV sources began to take shape, and the question of which sources providers use *first* – not just which they use at all – became important to know.

Over time, this question has become more important.  In 2018, the average respondent in our studies used a total of 3 different TV sources.  In 2021, that has increased to almost 6 sources per viewer.   This growth is being driven by the launch of new streaming platforms, a surge in use of free-with-ads platforms, and a shift by many providers to make their best content available on streaming platforms.

In 2021, we’ll drill down into how viewers’ home base for TV has evolved.  In particular, this year we’ll be able to evaluate the long-term aspect of COVID:  which behavioral changes during the pandemic have become permanent parts of consumers’ viewing habits?

Source: 1,616 U.S. consumers age 16-74 who have broadband access and watch a minimum of 1 hour of TV per week.