Report Claims Netflix Has Best Originals

With more TV shows and movies branded “original” on over-the-top video platforms, not surprisingly SVOD pioneer Netflix leads content offerings, according to new data from Hub Entertainment. The study explores what consumers assume about content labeled “original” and how the term influences viewing decisions.

“So far, Netflix has not only withstood the threats posed by new entrants in the ever-intensifying streaming wars — it has thrived,” Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study, said in a statement.

Fondulas contends WarnerMedia and Disney’s moves to prioritize streaming distribution are reaping rewards and have the potential to significantly disrupt the TV service pecking order, including Netflix’s first-mover industry stranglehold.

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“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,” he said.

The data cited here come from Hub’s online survey conducted among 1,606 U.S. consumers with broadband, age 16-74, who watch at least one hour of TV per week. The data were collected in February.

Simply branding a show or movie as an “original” boosts interest in viewing, especially among young consumers. About 70% of 16-34-year old respondents say the term “original” 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 are a bit less likely to be won over by the term “original” alone, but 53% of 35-and-older viewers still say the term boosts their interest.

From all traditional TV networks and streaming services, viewers are most likely to name Netflix as the TV source with the best originals. What’s more, Netflix wins by a wide margin: the percent choosing Netflix (29%) is five times higher than the percent choosing the second-ranked source (CBS, at 6%). Among 16- to 34-year old respondents, the margin between Netflix and the second-ranked source (Disney+, at 7%) is wider than it is among all viewers. But even 35-and-older viewers pick Netflix as having the best originals (24%), with no other source reaching double digits.
Even as Netflix continues to expand its original content catalog, viewers see no evidence of any dilution in quality — on the contrary, they’re three times more likely to think Netflix originals are better now than to think they’re worse. More than 48% of those familiar with Netflix think the service’s original shows and movies are better than in the past. Only 16% feel they’re not as good. The remaining 37% see no difference in quality over time.
For young viewers, the strength of Netflix originals helps 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- to 34-year olds choose Netflix — nearly 20 points higher than second-ranked Disney+. Those aged 35 an older are most likely to choose CBS in their top-five must-have networks, although Netflix is tied for second with NBC and ABC.
Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+’s announcements about their 2021 exclusive content lineup strongly drove signups to each service. Among respondents who subscribed to each service in December or January and heard Netflix would be releasing a new original movie each week, 88% said that was a reason for signing up to Netflix — including 59% calling it their main reason for subscribing.

Among those who had heard that all 2021 Warner movies would be released on HBO Max on the same day as their theatrical release, 77% call it a reason for subscribing, with 48% saying it was their main reason. Among 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.

Hub said Netflix is well-represented among the 10 titles most likely to have driven subscription, but so is Disney+ and HBO Max.

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