Towards the end of last year, we hosted one of our Breakfast Seminars; it examined the changing SVOD landscape, using consumer insight garnered from our syndicated research tracker ScreenThink (which tracks behaviours and attitudes towards TV and video on-demand services).

Since the seminar, BritBox and Apple TV+ have hit the UK market, while Disney+ is due to launch in March this year (and has exceeded all expectations so far in the US, and launched the career of Baby Yoda!).

Our next wave of ScreenThink is now being analysed, where we’ll be identifying who has signed up to BritBox and Apple TV+ and assessing the impact on other services. So in the meantime, we thought we’d give a sneak preview as to who intended to subscribe to the three new services soon after their announcements.

All three new services seem set to appeal to 16-34 audiences; it looks like Apple TV+ just tips the scales in having the youngest user base, with two thirds of prospective users aged 16-34

Disney+ prospects (those who want to sign up to the new service when it’s launched) are more likely to be fans of TV aimed at children/families (37% of Disney+ prospects have watched Kids/Family shows in the last month, compared to 14% for the online population); it will be interesting to see how Disney+ markets itself to try to appeal to people outside this family demographic with the wealth of content it has. Promisingly, BritBox prospects appear much more likely to prefer British TV to American shows (57%) than the general population (38%).

Prospective users of the new SVOD services are already subscribed to multiple services

These prospective audiences are already heavily engaged with the SVOD market compared to the general population; a significant proportion are paying for 2, 3 and even 4+ subscriptions. Firstly, this early data suggests that the new services appeal to an already content hungry audience and will definitely increase competition for existing services; the question is, how will people choose which service to use and when? Secondly, in our upcoming wave of fieldwork, it will be interesting to see how effectively these services have marketed themselves to the audience who currently don’t have an SVOD service; our results suggested that the new services weren’t as initially attractive to non-SVOD subscribers.

Prospects of these new services are much more likely to be users of more niche SVOD services compared to the online population

Prospects are also more likely to be using a wide range of more niche SVOD services. This reinforces the fact that early appetite for the services is among those who are consuming high volumes of content from a range of providers. 

So, we can see that prospects are young, engaged in the market and using  a range of SVOD services. But what is the potential impact on existing services?

Prospects are considering cancelling at least one of their SVOD services in the next 6 months

Although prospects are likely to be using multiple services, they are not immune from the cost implications; prospects of the new services are more likely to be considering cancelling one or more of their current services than the total SVOD population.

With prospects reviewing the products they pay for, increasingly they’ll be looking for ways to get the best portfolio they can within their budget. In response to this, we think there’ll be an increase in content aggregation; which could manifest in two ways. First, we could see more content providers offering access to multiple SVOD services through bundles – for example Sky Ultimate On Demand that currently includes Netflix. Second, we could see aggregation via hardware – such as, Amazon Fire Stick or Apple TV boxes. Alternatively, we could see consumers toggling subscriptions on and off as key content is released over the year.

The next 12 months is likely to see the biggest shake up in the SVOD market since the launch of Netflix. Our ScreenThink tracker offers bi-annual insight into all the new services launched and the changing landscape. Our next wave will reveal the early impact of Apple TV+ and BritBox, and give further insight on the role Disney+ may play.

If you’d like to hear more about ScreenThink or any other work MTM is doing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.