As Today’s Streaming Wars Heat Up, Content Creativity Is On The Rise
Today’s entertainment streaming industry is as competitive as ever. The “streaming wars” have encouraged greater creativity as online services go head-to-head, competing for consumers to subscribe to their content. Last year saw record demand for original TV shows and heightened demand for podcast and audio content. In addition to encouraging a higher volume of more artistic content, “streaming wars” have enabled new, nontraditional companies to enter the arena.
— As streaming competition heats up, new, unconventional entrants are looking to get in on the action, expanding both content and advertising opportunities.
— Increased competition has enabled content creativity to reach an all-time high — and viewers are the winners.
— Streaming wars don’t force consumers to choose between entertainment platforms, but rather, encourage multihoming between them.
As streaming competition heats up, new, unconventional entrants are looking to get in on the action, expanding both content and advertising opportunities.
Procter & Gamble, the “consumer-products giant,” is entering the content streaming wars — a clear signal that it’s anyone’s game. The maker of “Pampers, Crest and Bounty, among other popular supermarket staples” recently struck a partnership with production company Stone Village Television, a major move to get into the streaming-video world.
Social media companies are looking to mobile-first streaming pathways as a unique way to engage digital consumers. “Competition in the video streaming space is heating up not only by traditional companies launching standalone streaming services, but from social media companies carving new mobile-first consumption pathways.”
Streaming services provide a new avenue for advertisers to reach their target audiences. Ad-based video on demand (AVOD) is among the fastest-growing sector of advertising. Increased competition will “in turn, push TV over the internet (OTT) advertising spend to new highs,” notes Forbes Business Council Member Anna Nguyenova. These services allow advertisers to “reach a new audience segment that is more technologically savvy and less likely to subscribe to cable. And most importantly, they can deliver much more personalized ads.”
Increased competition has enabled content creativity to reach an all-time high — and viewers are the winners.
2019 was a record-breaking year for scripted television originals, with the upward trend expected to continue. Total volume of scripted original dramas, comedies, and limited series reached 532 last year — a 7% year-over year increase from 495 in 2018. As highlighted by The Hollywood Reporter, “Streaming originals will likely continue to surge in 2020 with the launches of NBCUniversal’s Peacock (likely in April) and WarnerMedia-backed HBO Max (May) as well as shortform platform Quibi.”
“Given that the streaming wars are now at hand, that total will increase substantially this year, which to me is just bananas,” noted FX CEO John Landgraf, the so-called Mayor of Television.
Leading tech services are pushed to deliver state-of-the art content to consumers on their streaming services. Apple “plans to spend billions of dollars a year on original TV shows and movies, and has signed exclusive deals with Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuaron and Emmy-winning actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus.”
“As we prepare for the anticipation of new launches including NBC Peacock and HBO Max later this year, we expect to see high initial interest from consumers,” highlighted AppAnnie. “While we’ll likely see these platforms perform well in initial download rankings, quality, quantity and affordability of content will play a major role in determining what players hold lasting leadership positions in the overall streaming wars.”
Content production and creativity will continue to grow, as current data suggests that “Peak TV” hasn’t happened yet.
In tandem with television, audio and podcast sectors are burgeoning. “There are now upward of 700,000 podcasts, according to the podcast production and hosting service Blubrry, with between 2,000 and 3,000 new shows launching each month.”
Streaming wars don’t force consumers to choose between platforms, but rather, encourage multihoming between them.
Rather than choosing one subscription, the streaming wars encourages consumers to switch between several platforms. Amidst the streaming wars, “it appears that each of the major platforms is winning in their own way. This would seem to defy logic and conventional wisdom, but it tracks well with what some analysts had been projecting,” notes Chris Ryan of Venture Beat. “That means there is plenty of room for everyone to grow. And rather than picking one streaming service over another, consumers appear comfortable having multiple subscriptions.”
As new entrants arise, consumers overlap subscriptions to increase access to new content, finds the AppAnnie 2020 State of Mobile Report. “Competition in the video streaming market intensifies with new services such as HBO Max and NBC Peacock expected to launch later this year. While we’ve seen high adoption from new participants such as Disney+ — ranking #1 in December for overall app downloads in the US — this has also resulted in increasing user overlap.”
Most consumers subscribe to multiple video streaming services, and will likely subscribe to multiple audio streaming services in the coming years. Luminary Media, a subscription podcast network touting exclusive audio content, has raised $100M in total funding and hopes to become a trailblazer as platforms trend toward making original podcast content.