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Content is king for SVoD subscribers

PwC's Streaming Ahead report analyses influencing factors

A PwC survey has found that cost, ease of use and content are the strongest influencers when users make decisions about subscribing to streaming platforms.

The Streaming Ahead report revealed that the type of content on offer is almost twice as important a factor as the functionality of the platform itself. The research also indicated that 36 per cent of viewers (and 46 per cent of 18-29 year olds) have subscribed to a new video service to watch a show exclusive to that platform; 35 per cent of these viewers retain their subscription after finishing said show.

In 2018, Netflix spent $8 billion on content. Analysts predict this to climb as high as $15 billion this year. The report said: “With new streaming competition on the horizon from media giants like Disney, Apple, and NBCUniversal, it’s a smart, strategic play for existing properties to continue their investment in content – considering consumers can’t get enough of it, as our research indicates.”

Users also responded positively to the presence of artificial intelligence (AI) for “helping” them find shows and films they might not have otherwise chosen. That said, consumers spend an equal amount of time looking for a specific piece of content as they do browsing for something new to watch. According to the report: “If providing your viewers with a good user experience is what you’re after, then helping them find what they’re looking for is just as important, if not more important, than helping them discover new content.”

The study concluded: “Subscriptions are ultimately powered by cost, ease of use/convenience, and content. Viewers care less about fancier user experience add-ons like individual profiles and the ability to watch content offline.”