MarketCast Streaming Video Data Shows Fans Turning to Unscripted Programming, Dramas and Classic Comedy During First Few Weeks of the Crisis

Streaming fans are using more streaming services than before, but spending on paid subscriptions remain flat, posing a challenge to new entrants to the space

MarketCast released highlights from the latest MarketCast Streaming Tracker, a bi-weekly report that measures streaming video trends across top streaming video platforms. According to findings in MarketCast’s March 14 to March 27 reporting period, streaming audiences gravitated to “distraction genres,” such as classic comedy, dramas and unscripted docuseries, during the past two weeks of the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, the MarketCast data highlights a desire among consumers to have more content, while remaining conservative in their spending for paid subscriptions.

The MarketCast Streaming Tracker delivers the industry’s first Fandom Index™, featuring the top 25 Original and Library titles and a ranking of Streaming Services bi-weekly. It combines fan survey data gathered from thousands of U.S. streaming video subscribers with social sentiment analysis captured from millions of social media conversations.

Fan Engagement Metrics

MarketCast Engagement metrics determine if viewers have watched an original series or library catalog program during the reporting period.

  • Netflix remains dominant in viewership and fan engagement with 19 of the top 25 original series ranked by MarketCast’s Fan Engagement metrics.
  • The top original series during the two-week reporting period include Netflix’s On My Block and Stranger Things, as well as The Mandalorian from Disney+.
  • With audiences looking for “comfort viewing,” the 2000s hit series The Office generated the highest MarketCast Engagement and Evangelism scores among classic and library shows.
  • Rounding out the top library series for fan engagement are Hulu’s Rick and Morty and The Good Place, which is available on both Hulu and Netflix.

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Fan Evangelism Metrics

MarketCast Evangelism metrics identify which programs fans are advocating for the most on social media.

  • The Netflix series Tiger King had the highest MarketCast Evangelism score of any series debut this year, reflecting the massive amount of social conversation the show received.
  • Since social buzz is often a leading indicator of eventual viewership, MarketCast anticipates Netflix’s Tiger King to rank higher in Fan Engagement during its next reporting period.
  • The Hulu series Little Fires Everywhere debuted at #2 for Evangelism during the reporting period, a strong showing for the new Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington drama.
Consumer Spending Metrics

The MarketCast Streaming Tracker measured consumer spending and usage of paid and ad-supported streaming services during the period, findings include:

  • Streaming fans are paying for an average of 2.2 services per month, flat from the previous month.
  • They are using an average of 3.2 streaming services (combined paid and ad-supported) per month in March 2020, slightly higher than February 2020.
  • Streaming fans reported they are less willing to add more paid streaming services to their spending mix in March 2020 than in previous months, and future spend is anticipated to be relatively flat.

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Additional Fan Insights

  • Social conversations about classic TV series centered around The SimpsonsGilmore GirlsSeinfeld and other 90s and early 2000s comedies and teen dramas.
  • Conversations about unavailable content rose 80 percent, with fans of the Harry Potter franchise speaking the loudest, demanding the films in the series be available for streaming.
  • Social media conversations about Netflix and Disney+ password sharing surged more than 500%.

“Audiences are gravitating to streaming series that distract from the world around them with unscripted docuseries like Tiger King, classic comedies, such as The Office, and star-led series like Little Fires Everywhere, topping the latest MarketCast streaming fandom index,” said Ben Carlson, SVP of Streaming and Platforms at MarketCast. “Additionally, our current data highlights the challenges facing new paid streaming services preparing to launch as consumer spending remains flat despite fans using more services than ever before.”

The MarketCast Streaming Tracker identifies subscriber perceptions of the most popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, BET+, Disney+, Facebook Watch, Apple TV+ and others, to determine the factors shaping subscription loyalty and spending. Combined, MarketCast’s analytics and insights about content and subscription health explain the impact of streaming programming and marketing decisions on the overall success of platforms.

The MarketCast Streaming Tracker is delivered directly to subscribers, with the option for clients to customize certain survey data to address specific research needs.

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