Weeks ago, Comcast and ViacomCBS announced a partnership to launch a new subscription video on demand service in more than 20 European territories encompassing 90 million homes. Called SkyShowtime, it will bring together entertainment, movies, and original series from the NBCUniversal, Sky and ViacomCBS portfolio of brands.
Ampere Analysis’ Q1 2021 consumer survey found that across the Netherlands, Nordics, Spain and Poland — some of SkyShowtime’s major launch markets — 41% of internet users who have used SVOD platforms in the last month say original shows are the main reason they subscribe to a platform, and even more would consider it a major reason. This indicates that having high-quality originals is a key factor when launching a new SVOD platform.
SkyShowtime’s initial slate of originals does indeed seem high quality. This can be seen with their high average Popularity Scores and Critical Ratings (according to Ampere’s Popularity Score) when compared to the all the original titles from Amazon, Netflix and Disney+, the major competitors in the target European markets.
SkyShowtime’s current originals have the highest Critical Ratings with an average rating of 68.4 compared to Amazon’s 67.6, Disney+’s 65.0 and Netflix’s 63.5. This trend continues in average Popularity Scores where SkyShowtime’s originals have the second highest with 9.4, behind Disney+’s 9.9 but ahead of Netflix’s 9.2 and Amazon’s 8.6. Netflix’s average Popularity Score and Critical Rating may be lower than expected but with a catalogue of originals almost ten times the size of its nearest rival, it has lower ranking titles that pull Netflix’s averages down.
“A key challenge for SkyShowtime will be to maintain the quality of its original titles while expanding its catalogue. But for now, ahead of its wider launch, although there are many other factors at play, the combined originals of Comcast and ViacomCBS give SkyShowtime a strong foundation on which to build,” commented Will Massey, Analyst at Ampere Analysis and the author of the report.
A key challenge for SkyShowtime will be to maintain the quality of its original titles while expanding its catalogue” Will Massey Analyst at Ampere Analysis