Do you suffer from video streaming paralysis? You’re not alone.

It happened to me again last night. My wife and the dog went up to bed early, leaving the TV in my custody. But after cycling through Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, Paramount, and Tubi, I couldn’t find anything I wanted to watch. So I gave up and read a book for a couple of hours.

This kind of paralysis is apparently super-common. Nielsen, the American company that measures TV ratings, says that it’s a real problem. I quote from Music Ally’s report: “In just three short years, the amount of content available to TV viewers has grown by more than 1.1 million individual programs…20% [of TV viewers] say they don’t know what to watch beforehand and couldn’t find something to watch — so they did something else instead.”

Nielsen also says that it’s typical for someone to spend 10-and-a-half minutes searching for something good on TV. That’s up by three minutes since 2019.

And then there’s this: Those who stream video for entertainment are spending a lot of time with classic TV shows. Another quote: “60% of time spent streaming in May 2023 was dedicated to programming that first aired on linear channels. That’s up 5.2% from October 2022.” Examples given were Grey’s Anatomy and Gilmore Girls. This is just like we see with music streaming where people are spending more and more time with older music than anything contemporary.

I totally get that, too. I’ve been working my way through the Doctor in the House series from the UK which aired starting in 1969.

Read the report here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37816 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

4 thoughts on “Do you suffer from video streaming paralysis? You’re not alone.

  • Could it be that this huge increase in quantity also means a decline in quality? I just get bored by so much that is on offer, both in video and music offerings

  • I consult the TV and movie columns on the BBC and The Guardian websites. You can get advance notice of shows that will be streamed in the coming months.

    May I recommend “Lupin”? Seasons 1 and 2 are available and Season 3 s/b released in October.

  • It is a well known phenomenon, the paradox of choice. The more choices we have, the more difficult it is to make a decision. Think about having to choose a shade of white paint…ridiculous.

  • I’ll find myself with a couple of hours to watch a movie, and before I realize it I’ve spent over an hour scrolling through titles and reading the descriptions.Then there isn’t enough time left to watch what I’ve chosen.


Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.