Advanced Television

Netflix tops US ‘must keep TV’ list

June 16, 2022

Netflix once again tops consumer research and insight consultancy SRG’s ‘Must Keep TV’ list in 2022 for the fourth year in a row, solidifying its presence as the leading ‘Must Keep TV’ brand in the US, despite reporting its first-ever loss of subscribers in its Q1 results earlier this year.

SRG’s annual ‘Must Keep TV’ research is based on 1,400 interviews across the US with consumers aged 12 and older and conducted in late April 2022. This is the 15th annual edition of the research since its inception in 2007.

Paramount+ is the biggest story of the year, having jumped to the #12 position from #37 last year, while Peacock is now ranked #16, up from #29 in 2021. The only major streamer in the survey which didn’t make it to the Top 20 or record a significant jump in rankings was Apple TV+ which is ranked #31 in 2022, up only couple of spots from #33 last year.

In a first in 15-years of tracking, the Top 10 brands were ranked exactly in the same order in 2022 as the year previous. However, there was plenty of movement otherwise. TV brands with momentum this year according to research included CW (#13 this year, up five spots), AMC, The Cartoon Network, A&E, TBS, ION and SyFy.

HBO Max is in the top 10 this year as it was last year, but preference for this new streaming option cannibalised its linear brand HBO which continues its freefall. Given a choice, American consumers clearly want streaming over linear.

Streamers’ success came at a cost to many cable brands including History, HGTV and Food Network – while still in the top 20, these brands declined this year to #18, #19 and #20 positions, respectively.

With Paramount+ entering the Top 10 among women 25-54 this year, streamers now account for a record six of the top 10 ‘Must Keep TV’ spots, with Netflix ranked #1 for the fourth year in a row, Hulu now at #2 and ABC following in the #3 spot. Prime Video, CBS, NBC, Disney+, FOX, HBO Max and Paramount+ round out the Top 10.

HGTV was bumped out of the Top 10 for the first time since 2016. Other brands losing steam among this demographic include Food Network (#18, down from #11), Hallmark, PBS, AMC, History and Nickelodeon.

Brands with strong momentum among Women 25-54 include Disney (#11, up from #20), CW (#13 this year, up from #27), Peacock (#15 up from #18) and Lifetime (#17 vs. #32 last year).

For the third year in a row, Netflix topped the charts for African-American audiences followed by ABC, CBS, FOX and Prime Video. New to the Top 10 among the African-American audience is CW and Disney+. BET maintains its Top 10 standing, coming in at #8 in 2022.

Within the Latinx audience, Netflix stays at #1 for the fifth year in a row, with Hulu, Prime Video, ABC and FOX rounding out the Top 5. ESPN is back in the Top 10 in 2022, in the #10 position. Telemundo and Univision continue to be strong, ranked #11 and #13 ‘Must Keep TV’ brands among this audience.

Streamers and networks are also strong among Asian-Americans, with Netflix, ABC, NBC, CBS and Prime Video leading the way. ESPN is ranked #9 and is the top cable network in this segment, while CNN comes in at #10.

Six streamers and four major networks comprise the Top 10 among the LGBTQ2+ audience, with Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu in the top 3 positions. The top network is ABC, coming in at the #4 spot, while CBS and NBC are ranked #7 and #8 respectively. CNN makes a strong showing in the #11 spot. Newcomer streamers Paramount+ and Peacock are ranked #10 and #15 respectively.

This year’s research also shines a light on ‘Must Keep’ favourites of persons with disabilities. Among Americans with disabilities, Netflix is again in the #1 spot, followed by ABC and CBS. Prime Video, NBC, FOX, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max and Paramount+ round out the top 10.


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