Research from Kantar’s BrandZ concludes it’s going to be an uphill battle among competitors attempting to take on streaming powerhouse Netflix.
The research unit finds that Netflix is viewed most positively by consumers in many markets around the world, way over-indexing in the U.S., UK, France, Australia and a lot of other markets.
Now you might be saying to yourself well, duh, it did have a two-decade head start. But as BrandZ points out, Netflix exploited that head start to the max and didn’t shoot itself in the foot with crappy, arrogant customer service like a lot of monopoly-oriented cable operators did years back, allowing big competitors like Verizon Fios to gain a strong footing in their market.
The researcher points to numerous Neflix competitive advantages: “It has continued to innovate with both content and service making it seem good value and a very ‘easy choice.’ It has the benefits of consumer inertia, reliability, range and — perhaps crucially — a lack of negatives that cable providers tend to have.”
BrandZ data shows Netflix “as a massively strong brand in every market — even when set against the wider competitive set of all ‘video entertainment,’ such as YouTube and Vimeo.”
That said, the brand can’t afford to rest on its laurels.
Amazon Prime Video, the researcher notes, is “slowly strengthening its brand equity, building that all-important point of difference to other players.” And while Amazon’s video offering remains less well known, it has “the strength and penetration of the parent brand” behind it. Thus, it would be foolish to count the service out. The clout of its parent will help deliver reach and like Netflix, “benefits from very low churn and retention rates are strong.”
BrandZ finds that Apple TV has “so far, had very little exposure and is strongly polarizing.” Streaming brands, the report notes, “are built by their reputation for content, and Apple hasn’t yet scored in that area.”
BrandZ data shows consumers think it is distinctive, “but few believe it’s relevant enough to meet their needs.” There are a lot of consumers that reject the service outright.
Disney, BrandZ asserts, “needs to find an adult appeal,” for its just-launched Disney+ service. Historically, the brand’s appeal has skewed to families with young children. “This heritage may be a hindrance to Disney+ as streaming services and on-demand video are more associated with quality adult content, music and sport.” On the plus side, the researcher points out, Disney’s ownership of Hulu “might help it navigate into the premium content market.”
But Hulu remains a smaller player, albeit one that scores well on certain metrics like “distinctive” and “hear a lot of good things about.”
The bottom line: “Few consumers will subscribe to more than one or two services,” says Graham Staplehurst, BrandZ’s global strategy director. “So unless they offer some other advantage, such as free delivery in the case of Amazon, then rival brands will have to demonstrate a powerful appeal to consumers. Right now, none of the competition has done that.”