Broadcast Giants Absent from Youths’ Most Indispensable Networks

March 26, 2021

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Broadcast & Cable | Demographics & Audiences | Digital | Television | TV Audiences & Consumption | Video | Youth & Gen X

HubEntertainment TV Viewers Indispensable Sources Mar2021When given the option to choose only 5 networks they could keep, younger viewers were keener to hold on to their streaming services than broadcast TV networks. On the other hand, older viewers still found broadcast networks indispensable, per a report [download page] from Hub Entertainment Research.

As it has been in the past, Netflix is considered the most indispensable for US consumers ages 16-34, with 44% listing the streaming network as one of the top 5 networks they’d keep. The rest of the list of most indispensable networks for this age group is also dominated by streaming services, with Disney+ (26%), Hulu (23%) and Prime Video (18%) named. The only outlier is ESPN, which 22% of younger viewers believe they can’t do without.

Older consumers (ages 35+) still consider traditional networks to be indispensable, with CBS (32%) topping the list. NBC (29%), ABC (29%) and ESPN (18%) also made it into the top 5. Netflix (29%) was the only streaming service that was considered indispensable by these older viewers.

Having kids in the household also ups the likelihood of streaming networks such as Netflix (40%), Disney+ (23%) and Prime Video (18%) being considered indispensable. With the exception of Netflix which topped both lists, households without kids listed traditional networks such as CBS (30%), NBC (28%) and ABC (26%) as the most indispensable.

Original Content

Some 31% of the US consumers surveyed say that the network brand makes a big difference when it comes to the quality of original movies. Last year, Hub Entertainment Research found that viewers believed that Netflix produced the best original content. More recently, Netflix announced it would expand the number of original shows it offers, and, so far, viewers appear to be pleased. Close to half (48%) say that the original content offered by Netflix is better than it used to be, while more than one-third (37%) felt it was about the same.

In fact, 6 in 10 (59% of) respondents reported that the announcement of 2021 content on Netflix was the main reason they subscribed to the service. Likewise, close to half (48%) of recent HBO Max subscribers’ main reason for signing up was because it would release theatrical movies on the same day as they were released in theaters. In a related note, 1 in 3 American and Canadian adults surveyed by TiVo said they want to keep watching new movie releases at home post-pandemic.

Awareness vs. Familiarity

The report found that while consumers are both aware of and familiar with (i.e. confident they can explain the brand and what it offers to another person) the likes of Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+, familiarity lessens with newer platforms or ad-supported platforms.

For example, about 9 in 10 consumers say they are aware of HBOMax (91%) and Apple TV+ (89%), but much fewer claim familiarity with the brands (46% and 37%, respectively). And, while viewers are embracing ad-supported streaming options, few say they could explain brands like Roku TV (34%), Pluto TV (25%) and VUDU (19%) or what they have to offer to someone else.

An excerpt of the study can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a February 2021 survey of 1,606 US consumers ages 16-74 with broadband who watch at least 1 hour of TV per week.

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