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Discovery and Measurement Challenges For Content Producers In The SVOD Era

Report by Tim Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View:  Streaming video consumption continues to accelerate, still adding users in more mature markets and expanding at pace in emerging markets. Though the mix of value propositions and business models is diverse, the unifying theme is that power is shifting from traditional stakeholders to new players. Rule books are being rewritten as quickly as relationships are being redefined. 

As with any consumer technology growth phase, audiences have unprecedented choice due to new entrants competing fiercely for their attention and spend. They are providing them with new ways to discover and consume, which in turn is changing viewing behaviour. 

In stark contrast to the content choice given to audiences, streaming services are highly protective of their data to ensure they retain the upper hand in negotiations. This often means measurement has to be rethought from the bottom up. Meanwhile, just as streaming services start to acquire a degree of industry familiarity, messaging apps are fast emerging as the next big audience engagement platform, threatening to rewrite the just-rewritten rule book.

Key Findings

  • The subscription video on demand (SVOD) unbundling effect means that consumers have to navigate different services, user experiences and billing relationships
  • The proliferation of Over The Top (OTT) services has led to the paradox of the TV consumer having a surplus of choice
  • Streaming services lack a central, coordinated discovery experience, though the tech majors could fix this by becoming meta services 
  • Apple and Amazon have already made moves towards meta-curation
  • As users spend more time with streaming services, discovery gradually shifts from lean-forward to lean-back
  • Algorithms and personalisation will continue to do the heavy lifting for streaming discovery, but an opportunity exists for a bigger human-led component
  • Streaming video represents        of total viewing time, rising to        for pay-TV subscribers and        for SVOD users
  • Audience fragmentation coupled with streaming services’ tight control of data is creating an existential threat for audience measurement
  • Lack of transparency gives SVOD services negotiating leverage
  • Remnant linear audiences are increasingly skewing towards specific types of viewing, while SVOD services are acquiring viewing time of the most engaged viewers
  • Netflix users over index for Comedy, Action & Thrillers and Horror, but under index for Wildlife, News and Sport

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Nielsen

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