As the era of “peak TV” tapers and new shows have been delayed by Hollywood strikes, the impact on audience choice is becoming clearer. Even with a reduction of programs, consumers still enjoy an abundance of content choices. This year’s edition of Hub Entertainment Research’s annual “Conquering Content” report confirms viewers are still positive about what is available to them, even if managing all their choices is a challenge.
According to the report, viewers love the abundance of choice created by “peak TV.” Appreciation for having “so many TV shows to watch” has increased significantly this year and is up by nearly half since 2020.
With so much to choose from, platforms that make discovery easy have a big advantage, Hub assures. The volume of content on streaming platforms, coupled with an increase of cross-licensing popular shows across services, make all of this content more difficult to use. More than 60% of consumers said they are more likely to choose platforms with better search, discovery and recommendation tools – up from 56% last year.
“New to me” shows are just as appealing to viewers as new releases. According to the study, nearly two thirds of viewers say their current favorite show is an older show that has been on for several seasons – up from 54% in 2021. In fact, one of the most mentioned favorites was “Suits,” a show which was cancelled in 2019 and has not had a new episode in four years.
“While the pipeline for new shows has slowed due to this year’s historic Hollywood strikes, consumers' loyalties to streaming services can remain stable, provided those services match them with the right content. As studios return to licensing quality shows outside of their owned services, consumers are responding positively to the abundance of things to watch, whether ‘new’ or just ‘new to them,’” said Jason Platt Zolov, one of the authors of the report.
“‘Peak TV’ has created a huge number of quality shows that many people just did not have time to watch when they were new. But they are happy to watch them, and this backlog will maintain engagement while production gets back under way. It also bodes well for licensing of exclusive shows to new services with audiences that have not seen them yet,” said Jon Giegengack, Founder and Principal at Hub.
These findings are from Hub’s 2023 “Conquering Content” report, based on a survey conducted among 1.600 US consumers with broadband, age 16-74, who watch at least one hour of TV per week. Interviews were conducted in October 2023 and explored how consumers discover new shows across different platforms and providers.