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The Science of Streaming

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

Well-before COVID-19 took hold and delivered huge boosts in audiences for all forms of video, there were already some pretty big predictions for the growth in subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services for 2020. In fact, industry veteran Steve Mosko, CEO of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group told Variety that “the next 18 months are going to determine where this business goes for the next 20 years”!

We’ve already seen a number of bold moves in the first half of this year from global and local players, all vying to be the next Tiger King of streaming. Just last week, we saw Foxtel’s new streaming service Binge take the stage in Oz, and across the Pacific, HBOMax also made its debut.

But for many businesses, like the media and content companies we work with, streaming is seen as something quite different – a Stranger Thing in the video landscapethat they need to get their head around. In order to demystify subscription video, the Marketing Scientist Group has created a report called ‘The Science of Streaming’, which leverages predictable patterns drawn from marketing science to help make sense of the current SVOD market.

The study collates data from 1,277 Australians aged 18 to 69, collected as part of our Total Video Consumption Report. The presentation covers 11 brands, and makes the following key findings :

1. The SVOD category has grown, driven more by increases in the number of people accessing any streaming service, rather than an increase in the number of services they access.

SVOD access: Penetration/number of services in the household

2. Younger people (18 to 34s) are heavier category users of SVOD – there’s higher penetration, and they have a higher number of services on average … plus they consume more SVOD too!

3. Most brands are still growing, and we find that the bigger growth brands gain and lose more customers overall.

4. The top 22% of customers make up about half of all SVOD subscriptions – these heavy buyers more often take premium packages and access smaller (niche) brands.

5. Access and usage are strongly correlated – and the largest brand (Netflix) dominates access and has even higher viewing time.

Netflix makes up half of the household access share

6. Most people pay for SVOD access – mass audiences subscribe to mass services, while smaller (niche) brands attract subscribers with notable gender skews.

7. Brands are thought to be largely similar on most product attributes – functional product differences like Sport or Family & Kids Content are the only attributes that set SVOD brands apart in the minds of consumers.

8. A cheaper ad-supported pricing tier would be likely to capture more subscribers, however estimates show that the uplift in subscribers would not offset losses in subscription revenues overall.

9. Growth for future SVOD brands is likely to disproportionally come from existing SVOD users.

For further information about this study, or to download the lite version of the report, please visit :



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