New research from Hub: Netflix tops the list of TV content sources viewers can’t live without
The best shows will always have an audience
Ask TV viewers how important a show’s network is in their decision to watch or not watch, and they’re likely to answer: not much. In fact, in Hub’s “Conquering Content” study (Oct. 2016), people who say the network doesn’t influence their choice of show outnumber those who say it does by almost 3 to 1 (38% to 13%).
Despite this, Hub’s new “Branding of TV” research shows that viewers do have clear preferences and associations when it comes to TV brands: networks, SVODs, and other sources.
Netflix has become indispensable to many TV consumers. We asked viewers which TV sources they would keep if they could only have three.
- 36% of all respondents say that Netflix is one of the three sources they’d keep, far ahead of second-ranked ABC (20%) and twice as high as third-ranked CBS (18%).
- Netflix is even more indispensable to young viewers. Among 16-24 year olds, more than half (56%) include Netflix in their “must have” three sources—nearly three times higher than second-ranked ABC (19%).
Some TV brands have distinct brand identities, while others—although strongly familiar to consumers—are much harder for consumers to describe.
- There’s almost universal brand recognition for one’s own MVPD (99%), Netflix (99%), Amazon (97%), and Hulu (95%), and majorities feel confident that they could describe what each of these offers.
- Recognition is also high for brands like Apple TV (89%), Roku (80%), and Facebook Live (78%), but majorities say they’re not confident about what each of these offers.
The growing popularity of SVOD reduces the connection between the shows people watch, and the networks that originally created them.
- Among viewers who watch shows from broadcast or cable networks on any SVOD platform, fewer than half (41%) could correctly identify the network the show was on originally.
- The others (59%) guessed the wrong network, or said they had no idea.
“Most consumers claim that they make their TV viewing decisions solely on the basis of individual shows, with no consideration for the networks they’re on,” said Peter Fondulas of Hub. “But our research demonstrates that viewers have clear, distinct preferences for certain network brands over others, including the specific brands they’d miss most if they were no longer available.”
“The best shows will always have an audience”, added Jon Giegengack, co-author of the study. “But to be a top brand as a TV source—a place where viewers expect to find high quality content—requires both great shows, and at least some exclusivity. These results show that consumers associate great shows with the company that delivers them, not necessarily the one that created them.”
About this Research
“2016: The Branding of TV” was conducted among 1,300 US consumers with broadband and who watch at least 5 hours of TV per week. An excerpt and infographic of the report are available as a free download from Hub Entertainment Research. This data was collected in December 2016.
About Hub Entertainment Research
Hub Entertainment Research is a market-research firm with deep expertise in television, movie, videogames, music, publishing, and sports—anywhere that entertainment and new technology overlap. In the television industry, Hub analysts work with networks, content producers, MSOs, and digital distributors. Our job is to help our clients understand the greatest risks and most-promising opportunities facing their companies and to reveal the clearest paths to success in a changing marketplace. For more information, please visit us at http://www.hubresearchllc.com.
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