Licensed Content Still Triumphs on Netflix

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Parks and Recreation (NBC)

by @todotvnews the 13/04/2018
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According to research from 7Park Data, Netflix originals might make the headlines, but its licensed content that catches the most viewers, with 80% of viewing in the US coming from third party content. 

It's no secret that Netflix has been spending a lot on original content, and several titles like Stranger Things, House of Cards and Black Mirror keep making the headlines season after season.

However, it is actually licensed content in the platform that catches the most viewers in the United States. According to research from 7Park Data 80% of Netflix viewing in the country comes from licensed content; and just 20% derives from originals.

In addition, 42% of Netflix subscribers watch mostly licensed content -95% or more of their total streaming -, and just 18% of Netflix’s streaming customers are what they called "originals dominant," meaning their viewing is made up of 40% to100% of original titles.

And even when much-hyped new shows make their debut, third party content remains the bulk of viewing. In fact, 7Park found that in the seven days after Stranger Things 1 made its debut, licensed shows were still 63% of TV viewing; and the week after Black Mirror, the number climbed to 88%.

"Licensed content is the engagement engine that drives SVOD viewership, retention and revenue," commented Christopher Coby, senior industry analyst at 7Park Data, suggesting that third party shows are popular because there’s already a broad awareness among consumers and the added value of no ads.

So, which shows are the most popular? Well, unsurprisingly, viewers prefer shows like Breaking Bad, Grey's Anatomy, The Blacklist, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Supernatural, The Flash, Criminal Minds and Friends.

And apparently, these are the shows that drive subscriber growth. As the data from the study suggests, 58% of new Netflix subscribers in the US have watched licensed programming first and then moved on to originals.

The same, the report says, rings true for Hulu, and the numbers for the streaming platform are even bigger than Netflix's given its much smaller number of originals. However, since none of the streamers reveal viewership data, the accuracy of the numbers is raised into question, although the takeaway remains the same: licensed content is a strong driving force for SVOD in the US.

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