Online and offline TV models are blurring as traditional pay-TV operators launch standalone streaming apps to compete with entrenched services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. And the majority of the public agrees that original content from subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services should be considered TV shows, per research from YouGov.
Indeed, a majority (54%) of the 1,000+ adults who responded to YouGov’s survey felt that shows originating on streaming services should be considered as TV shows, compared to one-third who feel they shouldn’t be perceived that way. (The remainder were unsure.)
That brings to mind research released last year by Hub Entertainment Research, which indicated that for youth, “watching TV” evokes Netflix more than it does cable and network brands.
However, not all digital video content can be considered TV, according to YouGov’s study. Respondents were more likely to agree (44%) than disagree (38%) that web series streamed on sites like YouTube or Vimeo should not be considered as TV shows.
Interestingly enough, Gen Xers – who were the most convinced that original SVOD programming should be seen as TV shows – were the most split on the topic of web series. In fact, this demographic leaned slightly towards web series being considered TV shows.
Netflix Programming Release Model Preferred
While there’s a mix of feelings about web series, one thing seems clearer: shows that are released as a full season all at once instead of every week can safely be perceived to be TV shows, according to a majority of respondents.
And there seems to be plenty of appetite for this style of programming release: adults were almost 50% more likely to say they prefer the Netflix model (where the entire season is released at once) to the network/cable model, where episodes are released weekly (46% and 32%, respectively).
However, there was a strong age skew in these particular results. In fact, while two-thirds (68%) of Millennials (18-34) prefer the Netflix model, just 27% of respondents ages 55 and older agreed. On the flip side, Boomers (55+) were about 3 times more likely than Millennials to prefer the cable/network model (55% vs. 18%).
One reason why the Netflix model is preferred? Almost 6 in 10 Americans have binge watched TV series, according to separate YouGov research. And among those, 72% say it’s their preferred means of consuming TV series, as opposed to watching a single episode per week.
Why binge watch? Primarily it’s an insatiable appetite for a good story: among those who prefer to binge-watch TV series, the main reasons given are that they like to see the whole story at once (59%) and that they don’t like the suspense of waiting a week to find out what happens (48%).
Score one for the SVOD providers…
About the Data: The YouGov research concerning perceptions of TV shows is based on a survey of 1,093 US adults (aged 18+) conducted online from September 7-8, 2017.
The other YouGov data, concerning binge-watching, is based on a survey of 699 US adults who watch TV and have ever binge-watched a TV series.