Advanced Television

Survey: Classic movies still key for streamers

October 11, 2023

Rocky, the 1976 boxing movie written by and starring Sylvester Stallone is America’s favourite indie movie of all time, according to a poll of streaming subscribers conducted by Bitcentral’s ViewNexa, the unified workflow solution. The findings come from the company’s new report How to follow the audience: the challenges and opportunities in today’s streaming market.

The research shows a fifth (20 per cent) of respondents cited Rocky as their favourite independent film, with My Big Fat Greek Wedding coming in second (15 per cent) and American Psycho completing the top three (15 per cent).

Rocky, however, is a bigger hit with older viewers than Millennials (27-42 year-olds). A fifth of Generation X (43-58 year-olds) viewers chose it as their favourite and it’s even more popular with Baby Boomers (59-77 year-olds), almost a third of whom chose it as their favourite. Among Millennials it’s a different story, with only 14 per cent rating it as their favourite indie film. American Psycho is their most popular (23 per cent). Even Rocky can’t beat newer films to cut through to younger movie fans: they generally look more favourably on films from the early 2000s. American Psycho, Kick-Ass and Billy Elliot all rank highly.

However, it would be wrong to generalise by simply attaching each generation to the films of their lifetime. There are nuances to each audience, with Millennials demonstrating the most support for 1968’s Barbarella, despite not being born at the time it came out, and ranking Horror as a favourite genre. Millennials rank 1971’s A Clockwork Orange and 1968’s Night of the Living Dead higher than many older audiences.

“These results demonstrate that Rocky still has the punching power to be America’s favourite indie film,” said Greg Morrow, GM Streaming Media Group, Bitcentral. “We ran the survey to celebrate the best of independent film-making – so many are all-time classics – and it’s fantastic to see there’s such an appetite for indie films among younger viewers, even if their tastes veer on the goriness of American Psycho rather than the glory of Rocky.”

Such evidence goes to show that fans of a specific genre, such as Horror, are open to watching relevant content regardless of when it was made, suggesting streaming providers don’t necessarily have to spend big on new content. The research also shows that younger viewers are more likely to embrace indie films than older viewers. While there is widespread support for independents – nine out of ten streaming service subscribers saying supporting them is important – Millennials are the most committed, with 34 per cent saying supporting indie films is extremely important, which is substantially above the general trend at 21 per cent.

Despite huge spend on content, the major streaming services are struggling to satisfy viewers with the content they want to watch, with only half (55 per cent) of Horror fans saying they are getting good value from their subscriptions, while a fifth say that searching for content they want to watch is challenging. Nearly half of streaming subscribers (44 per cent) say it takes them up to 20 minutes to find something to watch – with Generation X experiencing the most difficulty (50 per cent). Millennials are slightly less affected (40 per cent).

America’s top ten indie films of all time:

  1. Rocky
  2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  3. American Psycho
  4. Good Will Hunting
  5. Easy Rider
  6. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  7. The Passion of the Christ
  8. Kick Ass
  9. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  10. Night of the Living Dead

Categories: Articles, Consumer Behaviour, Content, Research

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