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Original content pays off for Netflix/Amazon

March 20, 2017

The increasing popularity of original content and a growing trend of paying for multiple video services are among the key findings in the quarterly Voice of the Connected User Landscape (VoCUL) survey from 451 Research which reveals the latest trends in North American consumer use of streaming services.

According to 451 Research’s survey, 19 per cent of streaming subscribers are paying for three or more services – up 4 points over the previous year. These streaming enthusiasts are creating their own bundles of video services, starting with Netflix (95 per cent) and Amazon Video (82 per cent) then adding a combination of subscription and a-la-carte platforms including Hulu, HBO Now and iTunes.

Among all respondents who pay for a streaming service, 79 per cent say they subscribe to Netflix and 53 per cent to Amazon Video, which continues to be the growth story, up 5 points over the past year.

Access to movies (50 per cent) remains the top reason why consumers pay for streaming video services; viewing complete seasons of TV shows (45 per cent) is a close second and has increased 6 points in just six months.

Importantly, 33 per cent of streaming subscribers chose their service for its original content, up 8 points year over year. Original content has always been a major differentiator for HBO and Showtime, but the VoCUL survey highlights a growing importance of original content among Netflix users (36 per cent; up 9 points over a year) and Amazon Video users (36 per cent; up 14 points over a year).

While both Netflix and Amazon Video users in the VoCUL survey have shifted towards watching more original content over the past two years, there is an even faster increase among Amazon Video users (from 7 per cent to 31 per cent) who say original content is their most watched type of video content, compared to Netflix users (from 20 per cent to 32 per cent).

“Netflix and Amazon have spent billions creating exclusive original content to differentiate themselves within a competitive streaming TV market, and our latest surveys show that it’s resonating with customers. Original content has become a much more important factor over the past year in choosing streaming services, and the data shows consumers are simply watching more of it,” said Andy Golub, managing director of 451 Research’s Voice of the Connected User Landscape end-user surveys and research.

The 451 Research VoCUL survey also looked at the streaming media device market, which continues to be ruled by Roku, Apple, Google and Amazon. Among respondents who own a streaming media device, Roku leads with 31 per cent owning a Roku streaming player and 10 per cent, a Roku Streaming Stick/Express. Apple TV (35 per cent) is second, followed by Google Chromecast (26 per cent). Although they represent a smaller share of the overall market, Amazon’s Fire TV devices are seeing the most momentum with Fire TV Stick (13 per cent) up 2 points and Amazon Fire TV (10 per cent) is up 1 point.

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