September 16, 2022

2022 Decoding the Default

Since 2013, Hub’s annual Decoding the Default study has been tracking the source consumers turn to first when they’re ready to watch TV content.

We launched Decoding the Default at a time when it was becoming abundantly clear that the number of TV services available to consumers was only going to grow over time. Our thinking: in an environment in which viewers are relying on a wide range of TV services to meet their content needs, the one they’ll be most loyal to is the source they turn on first, the one they consider their TV home base.

What we couldn’t predict at that time was the explosive growth in the number of different TV platforms consumers use. In this year’s Best Bundle study, we found that TV consumers now use an average of 7.4 sources to satisfy their TV viewing needs. The sheer size of viewers’ “bundles” makes it that much more important to understand which they consider their first stop for TV.

Notably, our 2022 Hub Reports studies to date have suggested that we may see some significant shifts in the services viewers turn to first: studies suggesting that “Big 5” SVOD services like Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max are gaining ground on Netflix, which has traditionally been the most common default streamer by a wide margin. What’s more, our other studies have also revealed rapid adoption of other SVODs like Discovery+, Paramount+, and Peacock; it will be interesting to see the extent to which those have cracked the list of most common defaults.

What’s certain is that we’ll come away from this year’s wave of Decoding the Default with a strong understanding of how TV consumers prioritize the ever-growing number of TV sources at their disposal.

Source: Interviews with 1,600 U.S. consumers age 16-74 who watch a minimum of 1 hour of TV per week.