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Sector Report

Q4 2020: pandemic sets scene for new streaming trends

  • Multi Asset
  • TMT
  • North America

There’s no doubt it’s been a banner year for streaming companies (or subscription video on demand [SVOD] players as they are sometimes known). With screen time skyrocketing across all age groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, the addressable market has swollen dramatically.

UK adults spent 40% of their day watching television and online video services in April 2020 — up by almost a third on the previous year, according to Ofcom. SVOD players such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video represented the lion’s share of viewing channels. Third Bridge Forum spoke to several industry specialists in Q4 2020 to understand the most important shifts in this burgeoning space. 

One unmistakable trend is that the SVOD market is getting increasingly crowded. This is prompting consumers to become savvier when it comes to managing their subscriptions, including creating their own “virtual bundles” — choosing core services and then dipping in and out of others opportunistically. “What you’re seeing right now is a land grab as people fight to position themselves to be in that consideration set,” a former executive at Turner Broadcasting System Inc said. Disney’s approach has been to be aggressive on pricing, while “Warner seems like they’re now starting to move in that same direction.”

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