The production of programming by streaming video on demand (SVOD) services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime is on the rise. While this original content has yet to reach critical mass in terms of viewing, it is playing an increasing role in the subscription decisions of viewers. Quality, award-winning original shows are helping generate the perception that streaming services offer programming on par with, or even better than, broadcast and cable networks.
Importance of Streaming Originals
With over 100 original programs to their credit, it’s no wonder Netflix leads the way. Of subscribers to the service, 40% say the original content produced was Very Important in their decision to subscribe. Netflix doesn’t seem to be letting up either as they have 45 original shows and movies set to release in 2016. Shows like Narcos are helping propel the service forward, as E-Score Programs viewer comments describe the show as “intense,” “fascinating” and “different from other things on TV.” It’s not just series that are helping Netflix be the leader in streaming originals, critically acclaimed movies like Beasts of No Nation are also helping elevate the perception of the service and its content.
Praise and awards for programs like Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent have helped to raise the profile of all streaming services as major players in the original programming space. The majority of subscribers to each of the three major services consider those services’ originals to be “as good,” or “better” than alternatives in terms of quality. Shows like House of Cards, with 54% of viewers saying they Make a Special Effort to watch, are becoming more popular, seeing an almost 20% increase in Awareness since 2014. This is undoubtedly aided by the many awards and accolades the show has earned.
High Value, Low Viewing
Despite the positive perceptions of streaming originals, the majority of streaming service subscribers say they have not watched any one of the existing original programs available , creating a huge opportunity for growth. Orange is The New Black, another streaming original with critical acclaim and a gaggle of awards, leads all streaming originals in viewership as 41% of all SVOD subscribers say they’ve viewed at least one episode. OITNB displays the potential of original programming as the show has more than tripled the number of people aware of it since 2013 according to trend data in E-Score Programs. This increase in awareness has led to 32% of all SVOD subscribers indicating OITNB is the original show they most intend to view.
Viewing of streaming originals is on the rise as a whole. With the quality and quantity of offerings increasing, original programming is becoming one of the biggest drivers of subscriptions for SVOD services. As these both continue to grow, the fight for attention and revenue will increase. Part 3 of E-Poll’s Streaming, OTT & Binge Viewing: The New TV Landscape Study offers an in-depth view of streamers’ changing attitudes toward viewing streamed, as well as linear content.
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