Report: Word of mouth top source for VoD content

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Conviva, the intelligence cloud for streaming media, has released its State of Streaming: Content Discovery report for 2021, revealing how consumers find new streaming content to watch. The report showed content streamed for the first time was discovered in four ways: word of mouth (59 per cent), advertising (52 per cent), social media (49 per cent) and streaming service recommendations (43 per cent).

“Given the incredible amount of streaming content available today, connecting viewers with content that not only piques their interest, but also resonates enough to keep them coming back for more is a significant challenge for publishers looking to identify and engage new audiences,” said Keith Zubchevich, CEO, Conviva. “By leveraging advertising, recommendations and social media to curate and promote their offerings, publishers can expose viewers to new, quality content while simultaneously increasing their reach and brand loyalty.”

Social media is vital to new content discovery

The report illustrates a direct correlation between high social media usage and high streaming video consumption, showing social platforms are key to new content discovery. The average number of social media platforms used by a typical consumer is 3.4 while this number jumps to 3.9 for heavy streamers (and plummets to 2.3 for non-streamers). What’s more, high social media users are more than twice as likely to spend more than eight hours per day streaming.

The report also found:

  • 93 per cent of heavy social users report they stream on Netflix. However, the next five top streaming publishers also have dominance with over half of heavy social users reporting that they stream on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Disney+, Hulu and HBO Max.
  • Social platforms are the top information source among younger consumers, aged 18 to 34, with two-thirds agreeing that social media has useful information about TV, movies, or shows.
  • Consumers who agreed with “social media has a lot of good information on shows and movies” were also 78 per cent more likely to discover content by engaging with shows on social media.

The report further broke down word of mouth, the top overall source for streaming discovery, to reveal significant social media influence including friends talking about content on social media (20 per cent), recommendations by a friend on social media (18 per cent) and recommendations by a celebrity or influencer on social media (11 per cent). In person word of mouth, including friend or family recommendations (34 per cent) and friends talking about content in person (27 per cent), was important also.

Publishers must maintain an advertising mix to maximize content exposure

Advertising also plays a key role in the discovery process and data revealed the advertising mix must be adjusted to maximise streaming engagement as evidenced by:

  • When it comes to which medium to invest in for the most successful advertising, most respondents reported seeing an ad on TV, followed by 20 per cent saying they saw the ad on social media. Only 10 per cent said a podcast ad or ad in a newspaper or magazine influenced what to watch.
  • Up to 65 per cent of long-form video is still consumed on the big screen. This suggests 30-second ads remain viable. Conversely, five- to 10-second ad units are better for smaller devices where 42 per cent of shorter content is consumed on mobile phones.
  • General web browsing is still the most common activity among consumers as 75 per cent of respondents said they browse the internet for more than an hour per day while 38 per cent reported browsing more than three hours per day. As such, the web should remain a dominant part of the paid ad mix.

Publisher recommendations resonate

Conviva’s data shows streaming viewers today like to browse and discover new content via curated recommendations publishers suggest for them, with 43 per cent of streamers discovering content through recommendations from their streaming services.

Additionally, 41 per cent of all streaming viewers frequently watch what is recommended to them when they start up their selected streaming service and 47 per cent agree that recommendations by streaming services are usually very good.


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