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OTT now favourite programme source

November 9, 2017

More than half of TV consumers say their current favourite show comes from an online TV platform, according to new study from Hub Entertainment Research.

Hub’s annual Conquering Content study tracks how TV consumers discover, choose, and watch content. For the first time since tracking began in 2014, viewers are now more likely to say they watch a recently discovered favourite show from an online source than through their pay-TV set-top box In fact, the once commanding lead for the pay-TV set-top box has been steadily declining over the past several years.

  • In 2014, 64 per cent said they watched their favourite show through a set-top box (either live, on a DVR, or through their MVPD’s Video on Demand platform). Only 31 per cent said they watched their favourite show online (via an SVoD such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon, through a network or MVPD site/app, or through other online sources like iTunes).
  • Over three years, online sources have not just caught up to the set-top box, but have surpassed it. 52 per cent of viewers now say they watch their favourite show online, while 48 per cent watch through the MVPD set-top.

Drilling down on two of the most commonly viewed platforms, there’s been a similar trend:

  • 2014: Three years ago, 45 per cent said their favourite show is a show they watch ‘live’ (that is, on the day and time it airs for the first time), vs. 14 per cent saying their favourite show is on Netflix—a 31-percentage point advantage.
  • 2017: Today, the proportion who say they watch their favourite show live has dropped to 31 per cent, while the proportion whose favourite show is on Netflix has jumped to 29 per cent—a difference of just 2 percentage points.

“These findings suggest that the aggressive investment SVoDs are making in original and exclusive content is paying big dividends,” said Peter Fondulas, co-author of the study and principal at Hub. “In this research and other recent studies, we see clear evidence that high-profile online exclusives generate buzz that draws consumers to these platforms, which not only helps attract brand new subscribers, but also builds loyalty among current customers.”

“This finding is a great example of how SVoDs have been able to transform themselves from technology companies that distribute content, into entertainment companies that create it,” said Jon Giegengack, co-author of the study. “The amount of content being created today is greater than the disposable time available to watch it. In the future, share of total TV time may turn out to be a more important way to evaluate platforms than looking at the number of subscribers.”


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