15 SEP 2023

What is the power of anticipation and strategizing in streaming?

BB Media analyzed streaming services’ “coming soon” strategy, commonly used to generate buzz, direct user attention, and also drive both new subscriptions and re-engagement of older users.

15 SEP 2023

"The Bear"

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Streaming services have developed the tendency to release information ahead of time regarding the assets to be added as part of their catalog: the “coming soon” strategy. According to BB Media’s latest report, this is particularly relevant for users for a couple reasons: staying up to date on the latest releases, to plan their viewing, to make informed decisions about which streaming platforms to subscribe to, and to prolong the hype around titles, creating big expectations before any release.

In July and previous months, more than 1,000 titles were informed to be added during August. It was observed that 25% were television shows and 75% movies. The platform that announced more titles was Prime Video with 231, followed by Netflix with 222, and Max with 150.

Currently, 12 streaming platforms are the ones subscribing to this strategy. Over the last year, it was detected that Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+ are the ones doing it more aggressively. Although one would expect platforms to announce only premieres or their latest releases, only 18% correspond to titles launched during this year, followed by 10% of titles from 2022. The remaining titles are distributed evenly over previous years.

From the “coming soon” series, most of these announcements correspond to new seasons of already available shows (47%). This is followed by a 29% of brand-new shows aired straight in the streaming services and, lastly, 24% of titles are categorized as “Library,” which correspond to series released years ago that are making a return to people’s lives through a different format. The percentage of premiere movies coming soon is slightly lower, with 14% of all the announced movies. The remaining 86% correspond to older movies making a comeback.


As an example, BB Media cited “The Bear,” a FX Production show that was acclaimed by the critics. The initial season was aired in June 2022, and it was immediately announced that it was renewed for a second season. However, not much happened until June 26, 2023, when Disney+ and Star+ announced that it was a “coming soon” title for August. As observed by BB Media, the demand for the title since its announcement has quadrupled. This means that the searches for this title on multiple sites increased substantially, the illegal demand of it as well, and people have been searching and voting for it on sites like IMDb and TMDb. The title also came back to the ranking made by Star+ of Top Series, and it remained there for several weeks.

“The phenomenon observed with ‘The Bear’ is not unique. Streaming services have long understood the power of anticipation. With the over-saturation of content available online, platforms are competing fiercely not only for subscriptions but for time. Users have a plethora of choices, and creating a sense of excitement around certain titles can redirect their attention and time towards specific content,”  said Ailén Matthiess, Chief Operating Officer at BB Media and the author of the report.

“To answer the question posed earlier, yes, announcing ‘coming soon’ titles is indeed a beneficial strategy for streaming platforms. It generates buzz, directs user attention, and can drive both new subscriptions and re-engagement of older users. However, as with any strategy, it requires thoughtful execution, balance, and continuous reassessment based on changing user behaviors and market dynamics. As the streaming wars continue, the battle will not just be for content but for users’ time and attention,”  Matthiess added.