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Full stream ahead: how SVoD services are changing to meet consumer demand

As SVoD platforms continue to rival pay TV operators in Europe they are using their wealth of user data to develop content driven by subscribers’ preferences.  According to Ampere’s consumer polling, the number of SVoD-only homes in the EU big five markets has tripled since Q3 2015, whereas pay TV-only households have decreased by a third. For SVoD services to continue to grow, they need to develop content catalogues that appeal to pay TV-only households.

Respondents taking at least one SVoD service, but not taking pay TV tend to favour sci-fi and fantasy and action and adventure content.  In contrast, documentary content is favoured by pay TV-only consumers. These genre preferences are being recognised by SVoD services and, consequently, content catalogues are changing to reflect the shifting strategies of SVoD services.

Amongst pay TV consumers across the big 5 European markets, 12% of consumers chose sport as their overall favourite genre (when forced to choose one), and 45% of consumers selected it as a genre they enjoy.  Online video services have traditionally stayed away from sports for a number of reasons.  Firstly, prices for popular sports rights have been beyond their budgets and, secondly, online services such as Netflix and Amazon did not stream live due to technology constraints. However, with higher budgets and more mature live streaming technology, sport is a key genre that online services will need to invest in. Existing SVoD services such as Amazon Prime, and new sports-specific services such as DAZN are beginning to invest in sports. As more sports deals are made with online players, we are likely to see more pay TV-only households subscribe to SVoD services.