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HubResearch How Quickly Viewers Decide TV Show Nov2020TV viewers will make a judgement call on a show after a single episode, and most prefer shorter series, according to new figures [download page, free excerpt available] from Hub Entertainment Research. The study breaks down viewing habits at a time when consumers are staying at home and streaming is spiking.

Based on an October 2020 survey of more than 1,600 TV viewers, Hub Entertainment’s report finds that the majority decide whether they want to watch a show after just one episode. This is the case when it comes to catalog shows with multiple seasons (74%), and even more so for new shows that consumers discovered before the premiere (95%).

Consumers’ enthusiasm for discovering shows is also evident in the almost half (47%) of respondents who somewhat (28%) or strongly (19%) agreed that there are more good TV shows to choose from today than in the past. However, the standard might be slipping somewhat, as this figure is down from 53% in 2019.

With so many shows to choose from, consumers indicate that they prefer not to spend too long with one series. Indeed, where 97% of respondents said they probably (59%) or definitely (38%) would start watching a drama from the beginning if it had one season of 16 episodes, fewer (82%) said the same about a show with three 16-episode seasons.

Opinions of Top Providers

However consumers feel about shows themselves, the study found that viewers are unaware of how many originals are being produced by top providers. For example, when asked to consider how many original shows Netflix produces, a full quarter (25%) of respondents said they didn’t know enough about the provider to have an opinion. More than one-third (34%) said the same about Prime Video, with the majority of respondents feeling this way about Apple TV+ (50%), Peacock (53%) and CBS All Access (52%).

Netflix has by far the best perception when it comes to originals, however, coming out on top by some margin when viewers were asked how many original shows certain providers produce compared to other streaming services. Some 62% claimed that Netflix makes more original shows, while only about half as many (32%) said the same about the next-most cited provider, Prime Video.

Read a free excerpt of the report or subscribe for full access here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 1,604 US TV consumers ages 16-74 with broadband who watch at least one hour of TV per week. The survey was fielded in October 2020.

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