Viewers say no other TV service comes close to Netflix in original films, shows | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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A new study from Hub Entertainment Research has found that despite the mass launch of direct-to-consumer streaming rivals, Netflix has not only withstood the threats posed by the new entrants, it has actually thrived.
Hub research Netflix 25Feb2021
Hub’s Evolution of Video Branding study was conducted in February 2021. among 1,606 US consumers with broadband, age 16-74, who watch at least 1 hour of TV per week. It explored what consumers assume about content labelled original” and how the term influences viewing decisions in a market where more shows and films available on TV platforms are being prominently branded as such. And the top line is that while Netflix leads by far, HBO Max and Disney+ could give the SVOD leader a run for its money as their big bets on streaming distribution of films and franchise content are already luring new subscribers.

Fundamentally, Hub found that simply branding a show or movie as an “original” boosts interest in viewing, especially among young consumers. As many as 70% of 16-34 year olds indicated that the term “original” would makes them more interested in watching a show or movie than they otherwise would be—including 25% who say that term alone makes them “a lot more interested”. Older consumers were a bit less likely to be won over by the term “original” alone, but 53% of viewers over 35 still said the term boosts their interest.

Moreover, out of all traditional TV networks and streaming services, viewers are most likely to name Netflix as the TV source with the best originals. Additionally, Netflix wins by a wide margin: the amount of all viewers choosing Netflix (29%) was almost five times higher than those opting for second-ranked CBS (6%). Among 16-34 year olds, the margin between Netflix and the second-ranked source (Disney+, at 7%) is wider than it is among all viewers. The over 35s also selected Netflix as having the best originals (24%), with no other source reaching double digits.

The other good news for Netflix was that even as it continued to expand its original content catalogue, viewers saw no evidence of any dilution in quality. Indeed, they were three times more likely to think Netflix originals are better now than to think they’re worse. Nearly half (48%) of those familiar with Netflix regarded the service’s original shows and movies are better than in the past and only 16% felt they’re not as good. The remaining 37% saw no difference in quality over time.
For young viewers, the strength of Netflix originals helped make the service their most indispensable content source, by far. When asked to pick the TV networks or streaming sources they’d keep if they could only keep five, 44% of 16-34 year olds chose Netflix, nearly 20 points higher than second-ranked Disney+. Those aged 35+ were most likely to choose CBS in their top-five must-have networks, although Netflix is tied for second with NBC and ABC.

The study also found that marketing campaigns conducted by Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+ regarding exclusive content for 2021 boosted signups significantly. Among those who had heard that Netflix would be releasing a new original movie each week, 88% said it was a reason for signing up—including 59% calling it their main reason for subscribing. For those who had heard that all 2021 Warner movies would be released on HBO Max on the same day as theatrical release, 77% called it a reason for subscribing, with 48% saying it was their main reason. Those who had heard that Disney+ would be the exclusive home for certain new films and franchise titles, 68% name it as a reason for signing up, with 21% calling it their main reason.

Assessing the trends for future growth displayed in the Evolution of Video Branding study, Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study said. “WarnerMedia’s and Disney’s moves to prioritize streaming distribution are already reaping rewards and have the potential to significantly disrupt the TV service pecking order. What remains to be seen is whether this streaming-first strategy will transform HBO Max and Disney+ into Netflix replacements, or whether they’ll remain as Netflix supplements.”