StoryScout 2024

Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

Netflix & the Rise of the Streamers: What do the Charts Say?

Netflix and the streamers share only a sliver of useful data about their viewing audience.

However, a steady flow of independent research provides a jigsaw puzzle of insights into the streaming ecosystem.

Lots of worthwhile data crossed my desk this month.

Here are 12 highlight charts, with just a little commentary.

Don’t miss my Desktop Documentaries webinar on “Pitching in the Streaming Era” with Steve Harris, the ‘charismatic’ veteran network executive and producer. Tuesday June 28 at 10am Pacific. Enroll here.

Streaming Share of Viewing (US)

PayTV Declines

  • Pay-TV platforms are steadily losing subscribers.
  • For the channels, that translates into a sharp fall in their first revenue stream:  affiliate fees.

Streamers Grab Ad Sales Revenue

  • The channels’ second revstream is advertising.
  • They are losing the viewers that advertisers covet due to the shrinking multichannel subscriber base (see chart above) and to the increasing share of viewing earned by the streamers.
  • The channels’ adrevs are also being won by their addressable online competitors, notably YouTube, Google and Facebook.

Netflix Inventory Shifts


This curious chart captures how Netflix’s inventory has shifted from high-volume, lower-cost acquisitions to a mix of higher-budget originals and commissions that target the demo’s and actual preferences of subscribers.

Netflix: Global Preferences


A lovely chart from Blooomberg (Lucas Shaw and Yasufumi Saito) captures the preferences by region and country for hit programs as measured by the productions’ country of origin.

  • The biggest Western markets have overlapping taste.
  • “This (analysis) underscores the challenge ahead for Netflix in Asia. It’s been able to delight audiences in North America, Latin America and Europe with more or less the same library of titles. It has to tailor its offering in each market, but only so much.”
  • “If it wants to succeed across Asia, it’s going to need to tailor its service in just about every market. That is hard.” (Bloomberg)

Discovery Lessons

Viewers’ Program Loyalty is Fickle

No Franchises

  • Broadcasters and channels have relied on franchise hit series that have regularly topped the ratings for years and even decades.
  • Netflix has to start from scratch as viewers eat up series.
  • That requires a more costly program development process, and opens the door for competitors.

Netflix Hits: Whereare the suppliers?

Top 10 US: Netflix Dominates

Nielsen’s Guage: US Streamers vs Channels & Broadcasters

The Gauge – May 2022 – Nielsen
  • “Streaming Captures Nearly 32% of Total TV Viewing in May, a Third Consecutive Record-Breaking Month For the Digital Format”
  • Netflix captures about 7% of total viewing.
  • Read more here

Top Six Streamers

  • YouTube’s offer is comprised overwhelmingly of User-Generated-Content (UGC).
  • It is therefore not competing for programs with the other five streamers whose inventory relies on commissions an acquisitions.

Next Six: Discovery + Lags

The Comscore data for the next most-watched services reveals:

  • The significant share of advertiser-supported streamers (Pluto TV) that are beginning to commission unscripted programs.
  • The disappointing subscriber response to Discovery+.

David Zaslav’s $200+ Million Compensation

Source – The New York Times