Advanced Television

Research: FAANGS bare their teeth with original commissions

September 25, 2018

The so-called FAANGs (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) are sharpening up their original commissions as SVoD players across the board announce new content. New analysis by media analyst firm Ampere reveals that, though Netflix continues to lead the way in original content creation, the increasingly-versatile platforms Facebook, Apple and Google-owned YouTube are making unprecedented strides in original content production. However, the FAANGs are facing more competition from both industry outliers and established brands.

Other emerging SVoD players have announced original commissions, potentially shaking up the on-demand market. The creation of Disney’s DTC service and others such as DC Universe in the streaming market has meant that content once provided to Netflix will form the latter’s direct competition. In response, Netflix is continuing its successful formula by commissioning more original Sci-Fi and Comedy series, reacting to the tastes of its audience. The likely successes of these genres has not gone unnoticed by Apple who has stepped up production of its original content. Much of its $1 billion commitment has been allocated to youth-skewing genres.

According to Ampere, Netflix still dominates but Amazon and other players are ramping up their original content

  • Netflix is leading the commissioning spree with over 250 upcoming titles. This will more than double their originals, as studios such as Disney remove successful content from the platform.
  • Apple, YouTube and Facebook are making unprecedented strides in original production with 65 upcoming original titles between them.
  • Though YouTube Premium appears to have fallen behind with the least new orders, the service has promised 50 new shows by the end of 2019.
  • Beyond the FAANGS, other services are biting into original commissions. Emerging SVoD players Disney DTC, Britbox and DC Universe have announced their first original series.
  • Disney appears to be leading in this emerging market having revealed 19 new original series, including a High School Musical and Monsters Inc. spin off.

In terms of genre, Ampere notes that:

  • Overall, Comedy is the most commissioned genre. Ampere’s 2018 Q2 consumer survey revealed Sci-Fi as the second favourite genre of SVoD subscribers.
  • Apple is emulating Amazon and Netflix, with Sci-Fi being its top commission. The company’s upcoming titles include a high-profile reboot of Stephen Spielberg’s Amazing Stories.
  • Netflix specifically has been maintaining its focus on the youth-skewing genres of Comedy and Sci-Fi, which have a track record of success for the company.
  • Amazon commits to a higher proportion of new title commissioning to Drama titles, at 29 per cent of upcoming titles, compared with Netflix’s 17 per cent.
  • YouTube and Facebook have been increasing their volume of scripted content, with YouTube Premium focusing on youth-orientated Comedy. They are shying away from reality content with just 6 per cent of new commissions compared to 32 per cent of their current catalogue.

“With so much new content being produced across a range of subscription services, the FAANG group are under increasing pressure to create content that not only attracts new audiences but also prevents existing consumers from churning,” notes Richard Cooper, Analyst at Ampere. “All the major players have been expanding the number of original commissions in the face of an increasingly competitive market.  Netflix is set to more than double its originals catalogue, as is Apple. What’s interesting is the different audience profile that each of the FAANGs appear to be targeting with their originals content, suggesting they’re aiming at different niches within the SVoD market.”

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