The Year in Streaming Media 2023: What Happened, and Where We’re Headed in 2024

11.30.2023 Sara Brasfield5 min

With the writers and actors strikes now officially settled, the future of the streaming industry is becoming more clear—and the final months of 2023 are being used to get ready for the year ahead.

From price increases to streaming TV mergers to expanded advertising inventories, many of the changes coming in 2024 are already taking shape in our day-to-day streaming experiences. Local businesses should be paying close attention to how the fast-evolving streaming landscape may be leaning on ad-supported experiences to stabilize business models and alleviate rising costs for consumers—changes which could increase the opportunity and cost-efficiency of advertising your business to a streaming audience.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the top streaming trends in the final few months of 2023—along with a look at what to expect in 2024.

Streaming TV Revenue Surged in 2023

Lengthy strikes from the writers and actors unions didn’t put too much of a damper on earnings for the leading streaming TV giants. According to a recent report, total consumer spending on streaming TV services rose to $9.3 billion by the end of the third quarter of 2023—a 20 percent jump over one year earlier.

Over the first three quarters of 2023, more than $31 billion was spent on streaming TV and movie services. This figure includes video-on-demand and other streaming-based services. It’s a trend that will likely continue into the future as streamers increase prices to offset the increased expenses they’ll likely face from recently negotiated union contracts.

Increased revenue is the result of increased consumer spending. This revenue growth is being driven by the proliferation of streaming apps and paid subscription services, as well as the maturation of ad-supported streaming experiences.

Have We Reached Peak Subscription Fatigue?

A growing number of streaming platforms and streaming video experiences are making a play for consumer attention. But increased competition and rising costs may be coming into conflict with growing consumer frustrations.

According to research from Deloitte, about half of U.S. consumers say they’re paying too much for subscription-video services, and one-third of those consumers say they are planning on reducing the number of entertainment options they pay for.

The average U.S. consumer currently pays $48 per month for streaming video subscriptions. That number is likely to increase in 2024: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and Apple TV have either recently increased subscription costs or plan to raise rates in the near future.

As prices and streaming fragmentation rise, it’s possible that some consumers will hit a breaking point and scale back their spending.

The Future Remains Bright for Free Ad-Supported TV (FAST)

In a move that brings the state of TV streaming one step closer to the experience offered by cable TV, today’s consumers are increasingly interested in the affordable viewing options offered by free ad-supported TV, or FAST.

Hundreds of FAST channels have already popped up to try and capture this audience, and some of the leading FAST streaming apps turned in record years in 2023: Pluto, the FAST streaming service owned by Paramount+, helped the company grow its streaming revenue by 18 percent.

Already one in three consumers are subscribed to at least one FAST service. If costs increase, though, and consumer satisfaction with paid streaming apps declines, the market for FAST programming may continue to see steady growth. Increased consumer appetite for ad-supported programming could be a boon for local businesses on the hunt for high-quality ad inventory across these streaming TV apps.

With the streaming ad landscape undergoing a period of dramatic change, local businesses can benefit from planning streaming and other media buys with the help of a digital advertising partner.

Cox Media’s experts can help you understand the potential changes coming to streaming TV experiences, and they can recommend a proactive advertising strategy that jumps on emerging opportunities and maximizes the cost-efficiency and ROI of your streaming ad campaigns.

Ready to turn your streaming ad investments into a significant source of growth in 2024? Contact us today to get started.

About the Author

Sara Brasfield

Sara is a Marketing Manager on Cox Media’s corporate team in Atlanta, with a passion for writing and delivering relevant insights for advertisers. With more than nine years of experience in B2B marketing, Sara aims to help Cox Media’s current and future clients connect with their customers find new and unique ways to grow their business. Outside of the office, Sara loves spending time running, reading, and supporting her favorite sports teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).

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