21 DEC 2023

Which were the inflection points of the audiovisual industry in the last decade?

As part of its ten-year celebration, Hub Entertainment Research discussed important inflection points they have seen in the media space over the past decade.

21 DEC 2023

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Ten years ago, Hub Entertainment Research was founded with the intent to provide the media industry with the best research about how the audience accesses, uses, and feels about entertainment, whether TV, music, video games or other medium. As part of its ten-year celebration, its latest edition of Hub Intel discussed important inflection points they have seen in the media space over the past decade.

First, Hub said that streaming is the biggest change this industry has seen in that period, and it got supercharged by the pandemic. Streaming via a smart TV, for example, has tripled since 2013, from 21% of homes to 68%. Plus, it is not just early adopters anymore – everyone is learning to use TV’s new capabilities. New streaming services have not been the only drivers in that time: it has also been driven by technology changes that have made smart TVs much easier to connect and use – while at the same time, cheaper than ever.

According to Hub, it is hard to dispute streaming’s impact on viewership, but the company has seen its impact on the content discovery and decision side of the equation too. The number of TV platforms used has nearly tripled from 2013, from 2.6 to 7.0 platforms. This has created a crisis in content discovery for viewers trying to find their favorite shows. “Just think of ‘Yellowstone,’ which premieres on Paramount Channel on cable, streams repeats on Peacock, has its prequel series stream on Paramount+, and is now being shown on the CBS broadcast network. Can you blame viewers for getting confused?,”  the report says.

This increased number of sources is also reflected when Hub asks viewers if they default to traditional linear TV or to streaming. In 2013, defaulting to an MVPD had an advantage of 50% versus 31% for streaming; this year, it is 60% for streaming and 22% for MVPDs. Streaming has not only taken from MVPD/linear’s share of viewing, but it is also now dominating viewers’ share of mind as well, Hub notes.

Another point is that TV is not just on a television anymore. Much of Hub’s work is about TV sets and TV viewing, but there are other devices and media Hub includes in its research portfolio. Mobile streaming is a great example. Smartphones evolve to almost universal ownership, and most phone users now have unlimited data plans. This mean that viewing of TV programs or movies on smartphones has quadrupled from 16% of persons in 2013 to 63% in 2023.

Other highlight of the decade could be gaming. The biggest games now far outdo Hollywood blockbusters. Players – whether with consoles or mobile games – range across all ages and demographics. The best example of the importance of gaming is to look at the investments being made now by Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others to offer games as an integral part of their entertainment subscriptions.


Hub wonders if broadcast networks as we know them will remain or transition to all streaming. Hand in hand with that, Hub fails to see how the next OTA TV broadcast standard, called Next Gen TV, gains traction with consumers who already barely understand the difference between HD, 4K and 8K. That invites questions about if the highly valuable spectrum first reserved a century ago for OTA TV is still its best use, according to the research company.

Lastly, with cloud gaming, the report considers that we are likely looking at a medium-term transition away from consoles, freeing consumers from having to invest in expensive, and often hard-to-find gaming consoles to play the best games. It opens up the high-end gaming space to newer competitors like Netflix by lowering the barriers to entry. Moreover, Hub believes we may have only scratched the surface of the value of gaming as source IP for TV and movies. “If done right, in the next decade, games may be the next Marvel or DC in terms of source IP,”  the report assures.