As exhibitors nervously ponder the impact of the growing army of streaming services now unleashed on would-be moviegoers, results of a new study commissioned by The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) are heartening. Theatrical release and streaming seem to complement each other in a few different ways.
Giant consultancy EY’s creatively named report, “The Relationship Between Movie Theatre Attendance and Streaming Behavior,” shows that people who stream the most are the same people who go out to the most movies.
It’s true for every race and age demographic.
Some 35% of respondents who visited a movie theater 9 times or more in a year – considered the most avid moviegoers – also streamed content for 15 or more hours a week. On the opposite pole, of those who saw the fewest moves – one or two – 35% streamed for one to two hours a week. Only 15% streamed for 15 hours or more.
EY interviewed 1,734 respondents who watched at least one movie and streamed at least one hour of content a week over the past 12 months.
It also talked to people who saw zero movies and 47% of them did not stream at all. Some 24% of them streamed for eight or more hours and the rest for less than eight hours.
The study showed respondents who were aware of movie’s in-theater release were more likely to stream it. This survey included 2,191 respondents who indicated that they were in some capacity (rarely, sometimes, usually, always) aware of whether a movie they streamed was released in a theater.
Some 62% of those who were always or usually aware of a movie’s theatrical release said they were more likely to stream it. Only 3% said they were less likely. And 35% said a theatrical release had no impact on their decision to stream the film.
EY said the findings in this 2020 study, its third, are consistent with the same research it conducted in 2018 and 2019.
In terms of what people watch when they stream, folks who went once or twice to the movies in a year watched about the same number of streamed movies as people who went out to the cinema nine or more times – respectively, 41% and 42%. Basically, that percentage was pretty constant no matter how many times a year respondents went out to the movies. The breakdown of what they streamed was also roughly equivalent for TV series – between 43% and 45% – and ‘other’ – between 13% and 16%.
The pie charts fell along those lines and were also very similar among different races and different ages.