Netflix & YouTube dominate viewing of streamers. End of Discovery+ as a standalone?

Netflix (26% market share) and YouTube (21%) dominate viewership on connected TV’s.

The launch and rollout of powerful new streamers like Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+ and Discovery+ hardly dented their dominance.

Their combined share of the key measure of Time Spent dropped only 2% in 18 months.

The outlook is not promising for the new entrants.

Here are the viewing highlights from ComScore’s “State of OTT: 2021 Edition” with additional analysis from LightShed Research

Source: ComScore & LightShed Research

Definitions

  • Connected TV (CTV) viewing is displayed on TV, including Smart TV’s, Streaming Devices like Roku, and Set Top Boxes.
  • CTV excludes viewing on your Desktops and Mobiles/Tablets.
  • Both categories comprise OTT for “Over the Top” viewing that bypasses traditional “Linear TV.”

How many?

According to ComScore…

  • 82.4M U.S. homes watched OTT in June 2021.
  • That’s an increase of 14.7M homes since January 2020.
  • The average home viewed 100 hours of OTT content across June ’21.
  • 8.3 Billion hours of viewing were recorded on CTV devices in June ’21, up from 6.8 Bn in January ‘20.
  • The average household watched 4.9 services in June ’21 vs 4.0 in January ’19.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The Dominators

  • Netflix (2.2 Bn hours viewed / 26% market share) and YouTube (1.7 Bn hours / 21% market share) tower above their streaming rivals.
  • They each recorded nearly 20% growth in hours viewed since January ’20.
  • An enormous pipeline of content in diverse genres, including documentaries is the key factor in explaining their unshaken dominance of the streaming market.
  • Netflix relies on its first-to-market power advantage, its scale of 210 million subscribers worldwide, and a reported $17+ Bn spend on original and acquired programs in 2021.

Disney+ Disappoints

  • Hulu, Disney+ and Amazon Prime each lost around 20% of their market share.
  • Disney (+50%) and Hulu (+40%) each expanded their subscriber base.
  • However, the ComScore data reveals that each household watched less Disney and less Hulu programs than 18 months earlier.
  • The simple explanation is that their subscribers find their programming less compelling than the competition’s.
  • (Nat Geo is a Disney+ brand.)

HBO Max

  • HBO Max showed the fastest growth of the listed streamers and is on track to pass Disney+’s market share and the #5 slot.
  • LightShed comments: “We believe Warner Bros. decision to make their entire 2021 movie slate available on HBO Max at no extra cost is a key driver of connected TV market share growth.”

PBS

  • Its gratifying to see PBS join the ranked streamers in 2021.
  • Contributing factors are PBS’s free and low cost subscriptions, an ageing audience that is adopting streaming, cross-promotions by local PBS stations, and a deep, diverse program pipeline and inventory.

Discovery: Standalone No More?

  • Falling off  the list because they are below 1% market share are Discovery+ and Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access).
  • The Discovery brand may well go the way of Nat Geo and its Disney+ parent, becoming a secondary brand within a broad entertainment platform.
  • “We suspect the limited appeal of Discovery+ helped drive Discovery Inc’s interest in the pending merger with WarnerMedia, with Discovery+’s content offering likely to be embedded into HBO Max at no additional cost. (We expect Discovery+ to be shuttered as a standalone offering shortly after the closing of Warner Bros Discovery in mid-2022.”) LightShed

Smithsonian: Back to the Museum?

  • The weak launch of Paramount+ also raises unsettling questions for Smithsonian Networks.
  • That quality documentary channel is now a secondary brand within the Paramount+ platform.
  • The channel’s affiliate fees and ad sales delivered a welcome revenue stream for The Smithsonian Institution and its valued museums, galleries, zoos and other cultural gems.

Where is Apple TV+?

  • Apple is not resting its corporate video strategy on the hit Ted Lasso.
  • Even though they came late to market, Apple is moving to leverage its billion + loyal customers to become a major video player, in documentaries as well as scripted.
  • The recent lease of 550,000 square feet of office space in Culver City (LA) heralds Apple’s huge expansion in creative staff and original production.

 


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