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Original programming drives subscription choice

October 2, 2013

houseofcards_spaceyAnalysis by eMarketer of PricewaterhouseCoopers research suggests that those who watch TV content place a premium on the ability to watch original programming.

The firm notes that in a June 2013 PwC survey, 63 per cent of US Internet users said that an offer of original content was at least somewhat important in influencing their decision to select a particular subscription service. And the importance of original content offerings was most pronounced among those ages 25 to 34.

According to eMarketer, Netflix, clearly realising that studios and other content producers were moving into the digital distribution game, fired back with their own attempts at content creation, meeting with early success. The David Fincher-directed online show House of Cards recently won a Primetime Emmy, marking the first time an online video distributor had picked up such such an accolade.

eMarketer notes that when it came to assessing the popularity of online sites hosting TV content, Netflix took top honours. More than six in 10 respondents said they relied on Netflix to watch shows. In comparison, just under half visited TV network sites, while just over one-third used Hulu, and almost three in 10 subscribed to Amazon Prime.

But when it came to pay TV packages that respondents subscribed to, cable TV still dominated. Seventy per cent of respondents paid out for cable TV, while only 41 per cent opted for Netflix. Amazon Prime was the next most popular digital channel users subscribed to, at 18 per cent, followed by iTunes (16 per cent) and Hulu (8 per cent).

Cable was especially popular with those ages 18 to 24, with the data providing a counterargument to the idea that younger consumers are more willing to cut the cable cord.

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