As supply chain shortages from pandemic fallout are being felt everywhere, subscribers of streaming services seem to be feeling their own shortages as well. Concerns circulated earlier this year over whether or not streaming services would suffer as the result of the production slowdown in the entertainment industry. 

Recent findings from CivicScience found that subscribers of streaming platforms may still be feeling the effects. In a survey of more than 1,380 streaming subscribers, nearly 30% of people who stream content feel they are frequently running out of content to watch, while more than 30% report they sometimes run out of content.

As new movies are increasingly released via streaming platforms, such as Dune on HBO Max, and as more Americans now prefer to stay home for movie night than go to the theater, competition for streaming content is strong and growing.

The survey looked at subscribers of four leading streaming services: Netflix, HBO Now/Max, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. Findings show that Netflix subscribers were the least likely to experience a streaming shortage, with 23% frequently having trouble finding content. HBO Max subscribers were the most likely, with nearly 70% overall experiencing some degree of content shortage.

Taking a broad look at what people want to watch, the data show that respondents stream TV series slightly more often than movies, while one-third stream both equally. Given the enormous success of several Netflix series this year, including Bridgerton and most recently, Squid Game, it’s clear that demand is high for binge-worthy television.

However, those who feel they lack content to watch are more likely to stream movies than TV series. The opposite is true for people who always find content to watch – TV is more of a priority for these streamers.

Genre-wise, the survey finds that drama and comedy are the top two most popular categories to stream. That holds true among respondents who say they frequently or occasionally run out of streamable content; however, they are more than twice as likely to stream horror when compared to other streamers.

Finally, age is a major factor when it comes to streaming. Younger adults are the most likely to feel like they don’t have enough content to stream. Eighty percent of 18- to 29-year-olds say they run out of content, split relatively evenly between frequently or occasionally. 

Given the large volume of content on any one of the streaming platforms mentioned, further research might explore what may be influencing young streamers to feel a shortage exists – whether a lack of variety in content offerings and/or a number of other factors, including finding relevant content to watch and streaming habits.