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Published on March 7th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson


Consumers need 3 to 4 TV services to meet content needs, survey shows

How many TV services do you currently subscribe to? One? Two? Three?

According to new research, most consumers in the U.S. would need to subscribe to three or four to meet their viewing needs, no matter if those were streaming services, traditional services like satellite or cable packages, or a combination of those.

According to Hub Entertainment Research, only 40 percent of viewers who subscribe to one service say their entertainment needs were well met, while 47 percent of those subscribing to two services said they were happy with their content needs. When viewers subscribe to three, the number jumped to 51 percent and increased to 62 percent for those buying four or more.

Ironically, those subscribing to four or more services would be paying roughly the same as a basic cable subscription, the company said.

The consumers in the survey said the increasing number of available services – like HBO GO, DirecTV Now, Sling TV, etc. – makes it easier to choose, but 69 percent of consumers said they wanted everything from one source. 31 percent said they would prefer working with different streaming options. However, 43 percent of those surveyed said they also wanted the option to choose, and pay for, only the individual networks they wanted.

“The novelty of having so many options for TV content is wearing off. Now consumers want simplicity and efficiency,” said Peter Fondulas, CEO at Hub. “Bundles that aggregate content from multiple sources are highly desirable – but only if those bundles include little or no content they know they won’t watch.”

Hub surveyed 2,056 U.S. broadband customers age 16 to 74 who watch TV for five hours or more per week.

NOTE: has clarified this story to reflect that those surveyed were not asked just about streaming subscriptions, but also included traditional pay-TV subscriptions like cable, satellite, or telco.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as,,,, and He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the Associated Press and United Press International.

2 Responses to Consumers need 3 to 4 TV services to meet content needs, survey shows

  1. Peter Fondulas says:

    Thanks for the great piece on our research study. One point of clarification: the number of subscriptions we looked at were not only streaming subscriptions, but also included traditional pay TV subscriptions: cable, satellite, or telco. So someone with two subscriptions could be someone with cable plus Netflix.

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