HBO, Amazon, Netflix

Less is more: The changing landscape of the SVoD market

2016 has seen a marked change in the number of distinct titles available on Subscription Video On-Demand (SVoD) services. As the sector continues to mature, the general market trend has been towards refinement and reduction of content libraries, with the majority of platforms showing signs of tailoring and reducing offerings over the year. However, there are exceptions to this, with the most notable being that of Prime Video. Amazon’s on-demand subscription service has increased its content quantity by nearly two thirds over the past 12 months.

The reasoning for the reduction in available content and platforms is twofold. Firstly, following the boom in SVoD platforms in recent years, some providers are beginning to exit the SVoD market, and in the notable case of HBO Go in the Netherlands, finding greater profitability through more traditional carriage business models. Secondly, SVoD services are beginning to refine their catalogues and remove content with low viewership. Using internal viewing data they are able to better provide and target subscribers with popular content, and therefore reduce unnecessary content acquisition spend. Netflix, for example, has overseen a decrease in library size of over 7% in its largest market, the USA.

A key reason for Amazon bucking the trend is the launch of its direct-to-consumer content hosting platform, Video Direct. This provides another avenue to increase traffic on its website and hence pickup of its other services. For the bulk of the market however, Ampere believes the drive will continues towards smaller, constantly changing, libraries of higher quality content in order to hold the interest of viewers.