Commentary

Original Content Is A Star -- But Acquired Content Has A Major Supporting Role

We have seen recent challenges when it comes to slowing subscriber gains on streaming platforms. But that’s not the big story.

While the likes of Disney+ and Netflix have been caught in the wake of the highly scrutinized analysis of subscriber acquisition, at the same time, these and other streaming platforms continue to focus on the basics, like continuing to boost their library product -- not just producing original programming.

Some of this may be revealed in so-called “satisfaction” surveys. One recent report from Whip Media shows there has been a significant reshuffling of top streamers.

We now see HBO Max (a 94% score), Disney+ (88%) and Hulu (87%) now among the top earners -- streamers that have either maintained or improved their satisfaction results from a year ago.

And which has fallen? Netflix, notably, has dropped to a 80% number -- from 90% in 2021.

Still, let's not get too crazy here. Netflix still has a tremendous lead over all players -- in terms of subscribers, seemingly viewers, and a wide and growing range of programming, along with a budget of around $15 billion per year to fund original or acquired previously released and aired content.

At the same time, Netflix has taken some dings -- especially when it comes to acquired programming from the major TV-based media companies.

Go back to two key moments just a couple of years ago, when NBCU wanted -- and got -- "The Office" reruns back from Netflix to help boost the start of Peacock, and when WarnerMedia did the same for "Friends" to help launch HBO Max.

Now consider what is happening around the possible majority stake sale of broadcast network CW to the largest owner of U.S. television stations, Nexstar Media Group -- by its two co-owners: Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global.

Both companies -- which largely produce all CW prime-time programming -- are looking to dramatically ramp up all their streaming library content by shifting after-broadcast airings of CW shows to their streaming services -- HBO Max and Paramount, respectively

From the 30,000-foot view of the business, all streamers are in a race to produce original content and/or acquire previously-seen content to add to their libraries, to cater to video-hungry consumers. Some of these consumers can be convinced to drop and/or add new services on a whim -- something which all services easily provide.

But acquired programming -- already proven to work among streamers -- is still a major foundation. Consider this: All top-ten streaming-acquired programming, per Nielsen, for the most recent reporting week came from Netflix -- with big results for “NCIS," “Criminal Minds," “Grey’s Anatomy," "Gilmore Girls" and “Seinfeld."

Shifting programming will continue to splash along on fast-moving and changing streams.

1 comment about "Original Content Is A Star -- But Acquired Content Has A Major Supporting Role".
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  1. Steve Leblang from SL MEdia, July 1, 2022 at 2:13 p.m.

    Wayne I'm surprised at you.  You of all people should know the reason the libraries rank high is because of the arbitrary way Nielsen values reach across multiple episodes and seasons.  300-400 one hours are OF COURSE going to rank higher.  And you know Nielsen still doesn't capture viewing beyond connected screens.  I've known you a long time.  Your readers deserve better.  And rather than admonish you I'm simply offering a chance for you to give me a crack at something I can earn a penny at. Let me write something for you.  Check out my blog at www.leblanguage.com.  I dare say I need work as much as anyone on your team does! 

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