Advanced Television

Analysis: Shows, brands preferred to platforms

May 9, 2023

As video providers proliferate, viewers are excited about the volume of shows to choose from. But increasingly they face a logistical problem: with so much to choose from, Hub Entertainment Research seeks to establish how they decide what to watch from a vast sea of options.

Provider brands are losing their impact

Streaming marketers have done a good job of driving awareness: even the newest platforms boast brand awareness of more than 90 per cent, notes Hub. But value propositions are another story: far fewer consumers feel confident they know what makes one SVoD brand different from the others. And as viewers feel the pinch of inflation, a reason to keep one provider instead of others becomes more and more important.

Shows and IP brands are filling this vacuum

In January 2023, 41 per cent of respondents said in the past year they had signed up for a new streaming service just to watch one show (up from 35 per cent in 2021). It’s an even bigger factor among the most valuable segments: 57 per cent of those under age 35 have signed up to watch one show and among households with kids it’s 54 per cent.

Creating a discovery ‘chain’ is a powerful way to battle churn

The most common reason that people drop a streaming platform is that they “ran out of things to watch”. Massive content budgets were a ‘brute force’ method to make sure that didn’t happen, but in 2023 providers must do more with less. Leveraging the brands of key IP is a powerful way to do just that. For example: in January 2023, 29 per cent of respondents said they had watched Yellowstone. Of those, 70 per cent said they had gone on to watch one or more of the shows related to Yellowstone (direct spinoffs or shows promoted as coming from Taylor Sheridan/the creators of Yellowstone). That number is good by any standard, but it’s especially impressive when you consider the effort implied: Yellowstone can only be watched on cable or Peacock, while all those other shows require a subscription to Paramount+, notes Hub.

“Content has always been king,” asserts Jon Giegengack, Principal and Hub Founder. “But as the streaming ecosystem gets more crowded, the role of IP branding on which platforms viewers sign up for and keep is more direct than ever.  And at a time when mitigating churn has become job one for providers, valuable IP will be more valuable than ever.”

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