07/09/2021   Will Massey
SkyShowtime banks on strong originals for European rollout

Comcast and ViacomCBS have announced plans for a new, joint subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) platform, SkyShowtime, that is set to launch across 22 European markets in 2022. The catalogue will comprise content owned by ViacomCBS as well as Comcast subsidiaries NBCUniversal and Sky. While the exact composition of the content library is yet to be determined, originals produced for Showtime, Paramount+, Peacock and Sky will all form part of SkyShowtime’s offer.

Ampere’s Q1 2021 consumer survey found that across the Netherlands, Nordics, Spain and Poland—some of SkyShowtime’s major launch markets—41% of internet users who have used SVoD platforms in the last month say original shows are the main reason they subscribe to a platform, and even more would consider it a major reason. This indicates that having high-quality originals is a key factor when launching a new SVoD platform. 

SkyShowtime’s initial slate of originals does indeed seem high quality. This can be seen with their high average Popularity Scores* and Critical Ratings** when compared to the all the original titles from Amazon, Netflix and Disney+, the major competitors in the target European markets. 

SkyShowtime’s current originals have the highest Critical Ratings with an average rating of 68.4 compared to Amazon’s 67.6, Disney+’s 65.0 and Netflix’s 63.5. This trend continues in average Popularity Scores where SkyShowtime’s originals have the second highest with 9.4, behind Disney+’s 9.9 but ahead of Netflix’s 9.2 and Amazon’s 8.6. 

Netflix’s average Popularity Score and Critical Rating may be lower than expected but with a catalogue of originals almost ten times the size of its nearest rival, it has lower ranking titles that pull Netflix’s averages down. And a key challenge for SkyShowtime will be to maintain the quality of its original titles while expanding its catalogue. But for now, ahead of its wider launch, although there are many other factors at play, the combined originals of Comcast and ViacomCBS give SkyShowtime a strong foundation on which to build.  

* Ampere’s Popularity Score is a score from 0 to 100 that indicates global popularity of a title in a given month, based on volume of interest, website traffic and box office income. All Popularity Scores referenced are taken from July 2021

** Ampere’s Critical Rating is a proprietary score from 0 to 100 that is created based on user reviews collected from online critical rating websites.

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