Advanced Television

Research: Video providers face streaming competition

May 25, 2022

The inaugural Battle Royale study from Hub Entertainment Research shows that the average household consumes entertainment – video, music, gaming, podcasts – from almost 13 different sources. But only half of those sources are considered must-haves.

According to Hub, Covid and the launch of new streaming platforms have kicked the streaming revolution into high gear.  But the growth of leaders such as Netflix is levelling off, and new research suggests that competition for time from non-video categories bears much of the blame.

1) People consume entertainment from a huge variety of sources. Hub’s Battle Royale survey captured use of entertainment providers across ten different categories: everything from traditional and streaming TV, to gaming, streaming music, podcasts, audiobooks, and reading (digital or physical).

  • The average household uses 12.5 different entertainment sources
  • The total is significantly higher among younger consumers (15.5) and households with kids (16.4)

2) But only half of those providers are considered indispensable.  Hub asked respondents to assign each source they use to one of two categories:  a must-have (“entertainment your household can’t do without”), or a nice to have (“you might miss this but you could do without”). On average, only about half of the sources a household uses are considered “must-have”.

3) When it comes to which providers are most likely to be rated “must-haves”, there are some surprises:

  • Two thirds of Netflix users (68 per cent) rank it a must have – the highest of any premium video platform.
  • But YouTube (69 per cent) is considered a must have by just as many users, and Spotify (75 per cent) ranks ahead of both.
  • Special interest platforms that focus on one genre may have fewer subscribers, but those users are very loyal: both Crunchyroll (67 per cent) and Funimation (65 per cent) are among the most likely to be considered must-haves.

4) Bundling content from more than one category may be an effective way to mitigate churn.  We know that viewers are eager to simplify their growing list of video providers.  But this desire for aggregation appears to apply to more than just video.

  • Among Amazon Prime subs who only use Prime Video, less than half (45 per cent) say that Amazon’s entertainment content is a must-have
  • But among those who also use either Prime Gaming or Amazon Music, it’s much higher (61 per cent)
  • And among those who use all three, 64 per cent say they couldn’t do without Amazon’s entertainment content

“Our new Battle Royale study shows the battle for entertainment share of mind has more competitors than many realise,” said Jon Giegengack, principal at Hub and one of the study’s authors. “But it also proves there are big opportunities for companies to engage consumers more deeply by leveraging IP across categories. We’re already seeing this in action, whether it’s Netflix’s commitment to gaming or Halo’s success attracting viewers to Paramount+.  In the future, cross category bundling may be a key tool to differentiate one provider from the many alternatives.”

“It’s exciting to see the loyalty that special interest or niche platforms engender,” said Mike Durange, senior consultant to Hub, also an author of the study. “While they don’t reach as many people as broader offerings, by providing something there’s no simple substitute for, they’re perceived as invaluable to their users.”


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