Non-Originals Play a Vital Role in the Streaming Story
Picture it. A TV series with a mass audience, loyal following, and a tendency to induce binge streaming. People are talking about it. Seemingly it sounds like a hot new original from Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu… but not in this case. This scenario teases the rather common story of how a licensed show — broadcast months prior on network TV — achieves digital streaming success.
In the most recent 7Park Data Streaming Intelligence report, more than 80% of TV streams in the first quarter of 2017 were licensed, non-original shows. The truth is that every day familiar franchises including South Park, Shameless, and Grey’s Anatomy gobble up hours and hours of viewing each day.
The actual streams tell the tale. Licensed TV is watched during windows when viewers are waiting for their favorite originals to return. Licensed TV is watched during that post-binge “cooldown” and watched in the run-up to a new season on broadcast. Licensed TV is watched, perhaps most of all, by the cord-cutter that wants at least some of the familiar content that pay TV offers.
As the streaming services continue a legendary run of success and ramps up original distribution, major opportunities reside on the licensed side. From retention to the chance to deepen engagement, here are some places licensed content creators and distributors might look to grow:
To leverage these opportunities, the right partnerships are a key. One measure of this collaboration is return-on-catalog. That is, an assessment of a studio’s share of titles in relation to its share of streams. Case in point: Fox Entertainment’s slate of TV on the leading streaming services accounted for about four percent of the titles streamed. Yet Fox Entertainment drove a much-larger share of the engagement with seven percent of TV streams on Hulu and eight percent of TV on Netflix (U.S., March 2017).
Cultivating a return on licensed content will be a critical piece of the streaming puzzle, particularly as we miss The Mindy Project (ending later this year) and wait longer for the latest House of Cards, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Stranger Things.