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Burnishing the back catalogue Retention in an inflationary era

Report by Ben Woods
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20,000 foot view:  With inflation squeezing commissioning budgets, streaming-TV services are battling to demonstrate value to consumers who risk churning under pressure from the cost-of-living crisis. The big spend on new shows to grow playbook is not only unsustainable, but also out-of-step with the consumer appetite for classic content. To retain subscribers sustainably in an inflationary era, streaming TV services need cost-effective engagement and can do so by bringing back catalogue to the fore. Through incorporating social tools, focusing on fandom, and embracing lean-back consumption behaviours driven by free ad-supported streaming TV channels (FAST), streaming TV can minimise churn and usher in a new era of sustainability. This means commissioning fewer new shows and sweating existing IP across audio, games, and live services.  

Key insights 

               of US consumers watched something they are already a fan of, or re-watched shows when consuming video as a standalone, focused activity in            2022            put on something new or watched an undiscovered back catalogue show when consuming video as a standalone, focused activity
  • FAST channels            use back catalogue to create            streaming TV experiences that offer            relief from the tyranny of           
  • Personal recommendations            the dominant route for discovering            despite streaming TV’s investment in            recommendations
  •            of consumers discovered new TV shows through personal recommendations in            2022
  • Streaming TV            can use social tools to            personal recommendations part of the            experience, bolstering back-catalogue engagement 
  • Watch parties            make entertainment events out of            shows if they focus on            communities
  • Video subscribers            at            when it came to            to podcasts every month in            compared to the consumer average                      
  • Podcasts can            back-catalogue engagement through utilising flagship           
  • Consumer demand            new titles is strong, but            services that better showcase back            can unlock value from older            that speak to personal preferences

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Disney+, The Godfather, ITV, ITVX, Netflix, Pluto TV, Spotify, Stranger Things, TikTok, Zoolander