A new study on streaming habits shows that viewers focus on franchises over brand loyalty to specific streaming services.
- Hub Entertainment Research released Evolution Of Video Branding in March, which reveals that high brand awareness is not translating into brand loyalty or discernment.
- 90% of users know larger name brands like Netflix, HBO Max, and DIsney+, but only 79% could tell what made them stand apart.
- Only 46% of survey respondents could explain how AppleTV+ works and what differentiates it from other services.
- 41% of streaming customers subscribe to a streaming service just to watch one particular show, which is higher for younger viewers at 57%.
Why It’s Important
The “streaming wars” have created a highly competitive digital marketplace for film and television content in the past decade. Major brands like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Hulu, and HBO Max currently maintain market dominance, while more small niche services like Shudder, Curiosity Stream, Crunchyroll, BritBox, Mubi, DailyWire+, and Criterion Channel have emerged to meet the demands of more specific genre enthusiasts.
However, the past year has revealed the weakness of the model as the majority of streaming services saw massive double-digit financial losses—including Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Paramount+, and HBO Max.
Franchise appeal has helped streaming services build up reputations. 64% of original programming last year were adaptations of existing franchises, Ampere Analysis reports. Netflix’s Stranger Things, HBO’s House of the Dragon and The Last Of Us, Disney’s The Mandalorian, and Amazon’s Rings Of Power have drawn record premiere viewership in the last year. Yellowstone spinoffs 1883 and 1923 have reportedly drawn record viewership to Paramount+.
Massive tentpole productions are insufficient to maintain extended viewership for companies that all reported losing subscribers in the past year. Large franchises can draw a crowd in but do not hold them in place longer than the few months it takes for a successful television show to exit the public consciousness.
Streaming is the future of entertainment, as evidenced by it overtaking live television consumption in July 2022. Still, the market’s oversaturation is making it harder for consumers to understand their full options and focus more on individual recognizable brand names, The Streamable reports. With Amazon Prime recognizing theatrical distribution as a safer model for profitability, the market stands to face further losses.
“The novelty of streaming services has worn off, with almost all Americans using at least one and most subscribing to multiple streamers … The most important goal of providers is no longer to drive awareness but to create differentiation. With so many options, providers must now focus on how to stand out from their rivals: exclusive content, library content, stacking series based on IP or creators, bundling with their other lines of business, or offering multiple subscription tiers,” says Hub Entertainment Research.