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The Case for News in Video D2C Services

Report by Tim Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View:  Digital disruption of the traditional pay-TV landscape was led by subscription video on demand (SVOD) services using scripted drama to gain consumer adoption, one of pay-TV’s very own four pillars. With SVOD originals strategy now diversifying into factual and reality, the two remaining pay-TV pillars sports and news are all that is stopping SVOD being a full like-for-like replacement for traditional pay-TV. With sports ROI hindered by excessive valuations, news is optimally placed to join scripted drama, factual, and reality at the core of direct-to-consumer        services, catalysed by        live coverage and the growing tribalism of politics.

Key Insights

  • News is being reborn with        of consumers spending        hours per week consuming news (more than any other media genre)
  • News, however, is a utility rather than fan-focused, being the favourite TV genre for just        of consumers, making it just the sixth most popular genre
  • Yet news is also set to grow, with        of consumers intending to increase their news consumption 
  •        and politics catalysed news consumption, with channels on YouTube seeing a        increase in subscribers (nearly twice as quickly as the YouTube average) and a        increase in views from April to October 2020
  • Apple may be particularly well placed in the future of news, with Apple TV+ weekly active users over-indexing for news preference
  • News audiences are older with        of news genre fans aged       
  • High news consumers are on higher income, over-indexing in the        household income bracket
  • Digital paid news subscribers over-index for connected device video consumption and under-index for TV-based video consumption
  • Paid news subscribers are digital sophisticates, with only        them watching live TV weekly compared to the consumer average of        and they over-index for paid video subscriptions 

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Amazon, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Apple TV+, Comcast, Facebook, Google, Peacock, YouTube

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