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Stream, interact, repeat Why SVOD needs a social engagement revolution

Report by Ben Woods
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20,000 foot view:  Audience engagement with subscription video on demand (SVOD) services is sliding, with multi-tasking on social media often relegating shows to background viewing. Social media is the threat, but also the catalyst for a radical recalibration of the SVOD viewing experience that will help these services claw back what is lost. Pushing beyond passive viewing, and toward a socially interactive experience inspired by video games and livestreams, will create the counter-offensive SVOD needs to win the allegiance of generation Z. Doing so will unlock monetisation and metaverse opportunities that will diversify revenue streams to protect SVOD’s future during a period of increasing economic uncertainty for consumers.

Key insights

  • SVOD services are struggling to maintain attention in a saturated attention environment – weekly video hours fell by        between        2021 and        2022

  • Meanwhile, social media weekly hours increased over the same period by        to        hours

  • SVOD engagement is further pressured by entertainment multi-tasking – socialising while engaging in digital expanding from        hours to        hours per week

  • SVOD’s risk is that social media is capturing the most committed viewers – in        2022,        of US binge watchers used YouTube daily and        used TikTok

  • SVOD has an opportunity to embrace social behaviours that drive engagement – US binge watchers over-index for commenting, liking, or sharing at               2022)

  • Convincing older demographics to embrace a hybrid SVOD / social experience will be key as they remain committed to traditional entertainment

  • SVOD services will be able to combat attention inflation by poaching behaviours from livestreaming platforms that drive focused engagement

  • SVOD users embrace social interactive behaviours – Amazon Prime Video and Netflix subscribers over-index on social engagement behaviours at                      2022)

  • A hybrid SVOD / social experience can also tackle the fickle viewing habits of gen Z, who are digital natives that graze across streaming services and social media

  • In        2022, younger generations streamed movies and shows in shorter bursts –        of        watched less than five hours of TV shows or movies on SVOD services every week

  • Embracing social will be crucial in squeezing the engagement time needed from gen Z to secure SVOD’s future

Companies and brands mentioned in this report:  Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Games Studio, Amazon Fire, Cult of the Lamb, Devolver Digital, Disney+, Fortnite, Google TV, HBO, Hulu, Massive Monster, Netflix, Stranger Things, Teleparty, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Roku, TikTok, Twitch, YouTube

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