A new report on streaming from Interpublic Group’s Magna and IPG Media Lab assesses Netflix and Quibi as being among those most vulnerable in the accelerating streaming wars, and forecasts that media companies will create content “superbundles” to win and keep viewers, among other points.
The report estimates that streaming will make up 60% of all video viewing next year, and 70% by 2024 — up from 56% in 2018 — and that 11 million more OTT devices will be sold in 2020 versus 2019, notes a Variety summary.
Streaming will become the dominant mode of video consumption for some audiences in 2020, eclipsing traditional linear TV, but even those audiences will opt to focus on a small number of brands, rather than expand their services, these researchers predict.
Regarding Netflix, they believe that the currently dominant streamer will be at serious disadvantage against the mega-revenues that Disney and WarnerMedia are able to generate via their expertise in licensing intellectual property across an array of consumer products.
They also point out that, according to Nielsen data, Netflix’s most-viewed offerings during the 2018-2019 season were Disney-licensed titles, including “Avengers: Infinity War” and “The Incredibles 2.”
Many other stats not cited in this report could be used to demonstrate Disney’s multi-revenue-channel advantage, of course. For instance, a newly interactive map from online marketplace VividSeats, showing ticket buyers by state, shows “Disney on Ice” as being No. 1 in 45 states.
“The box office is just the starting point for Disney’s relationship with consumers,” Byers Market blogger Dylan Byers noted in commenting on that ticket data. “It’s important to remember that when thinking about how Disney competes with, say, Netflix, which can only make money on streaming subscriptions.”
Another relevant, just-released piece of research: a Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult survey of Disney+ subscribers that “suggests that the most-viewed content category on the platform isn't new originals but its library of vault classics like “The Lion King” and “Mary Poppins.”
That would seem to underscore the Magna/IPG researchers’ point about Netflix’s current dependence on Disney content.
On the other hand, it could also underscore the potential weakness most cited in relation to Disney+: its perhaps limited appeal to consumers not interested in family-oriented content.
Moreover, in yet another new piece of research, Variety documents just how aggressively Netflix is working to generate its own new content.
According to Variety Insight data, on average, Netflix released 371 new TV shows and movies in 2019, which translates to averaging slightly more than one new content release every day of this year. That’s up from Netflix’s 240 new releases last year, and it’s larger than the number of original series released by the entire U.S. TV industry back in 2005, Variety notes.
As for other players in the streaming wars, Magna/IPG views the coming mobile, short-form video platform Quibi (with content from sources like “60 Minutes” and Comedy Central) as being unlikely to dislodge young consumers’ already formed habits of viewing YouTube or other social media or gaming during available moments throughout the day.
HBO Max’s high monthly fee will make it difficult to grow its subscriber base past a certain point, and NBC Universal’s Peacock “will be an easy option for Comcast subscribers, but may be a hard sell for cord-cutters with so many other choices on the table,” say these analysts.
Apple’s original content base is “meager,” but Apple will have the advantage of being able to package its Apple TV+ service with other Apple services such as Apple Music.
That speaks to content “superbundles,” which will be a key customer acquisition and retention strategy for a number of streaming players — including Disney, says the report.
Disney+ will be able to offer not only a large classic library of titles and ample original content, but deals on Disney products and offshoots like shows, theme parks, and cruises. And that should be another advantage in building loyalty for the streaming service.
Yep, I have to agree with Magna regarding both Netflix and Quibi and their perilous situation in the emerging streaming wars. The latter, in particular, seems to be totally out of touch with the ways that young people use smartphones and, especially, their interest in TV news---or newsmagazine style--- content. They simply aren't interested.