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Hub Research: Streaming’s Advantage Grows


Hub has released its Conquering Content study, which tracks how consumers discover TV content and the platforms they use to watch newly discovered shows and movies.

The research reveals that streaming’s advantage as the home for favorite shows continues to grow, as consumers are now three times more likely to discover a new show on a streaming platform than on a traditional network. Among TV viewers who have discovered a new favorite TV show in the past year, 75 percent report the show they’ve discovered is on a streaming service. Only 21 percent have discovered a new favorite from a traditional pay-TV source (live, DVR or VOD). The proportion of discovering a new favorite show on streaming has increased every year since Hub has been tracking viewing behaviors, while the proportion discovering from a traditional service has declined every year.

Netflix has lost some ground in the last year as the home for favorite shows, while the other “big 5” streaming services (Hulu, Amazon, HBO Max and Disney+) have gained. Netflix is still the single most common destination for new show discovery, named by 35 percent of viewers—though this percentage has dipped 3 points since last year. The percent discovering a new show on one of the other top streamers (Hulu, Amazon, HBO Max or Disney+) has grown 2 points since 2020.

The report also finds that exclusive content is a strong driver of new sign-ups, as four in ten TV consumers have signed up for a streaming service to watch a single show or movie not available on any other platform. The percent signing up for a streaming service for one show only is up 6 points since 2020. A reported 77 percent of those signing up to watch one show end up keeping the service once they’ve watched.

Hub also reports that FAST viewing has become mainstream. For the first time since it has been tracking, a majority (53 percent) of TV consumers say they sometimes watch content from a free TV streaming service with ads, such as Pluto TV, Roku Channel, Tubi, IMDb TV and the free version of Peacock. That percentage is 11 points higher than this time last year and 15 points since 2019.

“Netflix knew what it was doing back in 2013 when it prominently branded House of Cards as a ‘Netflix original,’” said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study. “More than half of TV viewers say that simply touting a show as an ‘original’ makes them more interested in watching, which in turn leads them to sign up for fear of missing out. One burning question is whether viewers will similarly embrace ‘originals’ on FASTs like The Roku Channel (which this year launched a slate of original shows)—or whether those services are fated to be forever associated with older, nostalgia-friendly content.”

About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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