Study: 75% of Viewers Say Their Favorite Show is on a Streaming Service

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We all know content is key when it comes to viewers’ watching TV, and we’ve reached the point where streaming originals are more popular than primetime TV shows. Sure there are still some heavily-watched shows still airing on traditional TV, like Yellowstone on Paramount Network, but a recent study by Hub reveals most people discovered their favorite show on a streaming service. In fact, consumers are now three times more likely to discover a new show on a streaming platform than on a traditional network.

Among TV viewers who have discovered a new favorite TV show in the past year, 75% say the show they’ve discovered is on a streaming service. Only 21% have discovered a new favorite from a traditional pay TV source (live, DVR, or VOD).

Netflix remains the top destination for discovering new content that viewers can’t resist, with 35% of viewers saying their favorite show is on the service. However, after growing each year since 2017, Netflix’s percentage has dipped 3 points since last year, while the percent discovering a new show on one of the other top streamers (Hulu, Amazon, HBO Max, or Disney+) has grown two points since 2020.

In the past, we’ve reported consumers will sign up for a streaming service just to watch one specific show, and that still holds true. Four in 10 TV consumers have signed up for a streaming service to watch a single show or movie not available on any other platform. That number is up 6 points since 2020. The percent signing up for a streaming service for one show only is up 6 points since 2020. And while that might not seem like a sustainable way to grow numbers, the study shows that exclusive shows can attract long-term subscribers, not just one-offs. A solid 77% of those signing up to watch one show end up keeping the service once they’ve watched.

“Netflix knew what it was doing back in 2013 when it prominently branded ‘House of Cards’ as a ‘Netflix Original,’” said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study. “More than half of TV viewers say that simply touting a show as an ‘original’ makes them more interested in watching, which in turn leads them to sign up for fear of missing out. One burning question is whether viewers will similarly embrace ‘originals’ on FASTs like The Roku Channel (which this year launched a slate of original shows)—or whether those services are fated to be forever associated with older, nostalgia-friendly content.”

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