Over the past month, CivicScience has studied over 10,000 U.S. SVOD subscribers to understand their attitudes and preferences around the original content offerings of the various platforms. The results are, at once, unsurprising and yet notable when we dig deeper.
To say that Netflix is the dominant platform when it comes to original content superiority would be an understatement. Sixty percent of SVOD users ages 13+ consider Netflix’s selection of original series and movies the best, a number 4X larger than the next most popular platform, Amazon Prime. HBO Now/Max and Hulu are tied with 8% of respondents favoring their content, followed by YouTube Premium, Starz, Showtime, and Acorn.
For sure, Netflix is in a league of its own. While the absolute numbers aren’t even close, we can learn a bit more about the fans of each platform – and potential competitive threats or opportunities for Netflix – by exploring the depths of the CivicScience profiling database:
DEMOGRAPHICS While Netflix dominates across the board, its usage by gender is also evenly split. Prime, Hulu, and YouTube, on the other hand, skew female, with Starz skewing the heaviest in that direction (69:31 female). HBO Now/Max and Showtime are the only platforms whose original content fans over-index as male.
When it comes to age, Netflix wins the biggest with Gen Z and Gen X – unsurprising, given what CivicScience knows about the strong similarities between those two cohorts. Amazon Prime gets its highest relative marks among the Baby Boomer crowd, while HBO and Hulu do best among Millennials. YouTube Premium is almost twice as popular among Gen Z as it is among any other age group.
Other demographic insights tell us that, when it comes to race, Hulu and Starz over-index most among Blacks and Hispanics, while HBO has the predominantly white, original content fans. YouTube Premium performs the best, relatively, among high-income households and the most highly educated. Netflix original content fans skew slightly more urban; YouTube premium, the most suburban; and HBO, the most rural. Prime Video has the highest overall percentage of original content fans who are parents.
PSYCHOGRAPHICS To delve further, we ran a CivicScience DeepProfile™ report to examine the key psychographic difference across the four most popular original content platforms: Netflix, Prime, HBO, and Hulu. Below are some noteworthy highlights:
- Hulu original content fans are the most outspoken consumers when it comes to products they don’t like, leading all other fan bases in their likelihood to tell others about disappointing products or to write negative reviews. They’re also the most likely to be heavily influenced by their friends and contacts on social media.
- Virtually all SVOD original content fans over-index as users of Snapchat and Instagram but HBO fans use Twitter at a far higher relative rate than fans of the other platforms.
- Hulu and HBO original content fans are the most price-conscious, with Netflix and Prime fans being the least.
- Related, HBO original content fans are the most informed consumers, relying heavily on online reviews and comparison shopping. They’re also the most likely to support socially-conscious companies when they buy.
- Ironically, Netflix original content fans are the least tech-savvy of the four groups, explained by the fact that the platform is far larger and more mainstream in its fan base. Of the also-rans, HBO and Hulu have the most tech-forward original content fans.
- No surprise, Hulu fans are the most likely to over-index as sitcom fans, with HBO original content fans skewing more toward documentaries and reality TV.
- Hulu and Prime fans are the biggest foodies, relatively speaking.
- HBO original content fans eat out the most, whether for lunch or dinner – but Netflix fans are notable second, particularly at casual restaurants and QSRs.
- Prime fans are the most financially savvy of the four groups, with Netflix right on Prime’s heels. Netflix original content fans are the most likely to bank online and on a mobile device.
- HBO original content lovers are the biggest sports fans, by a mile, explained simply by the decided male skew among the group.
- Prime fans are the least environmentally-conscious, yet the most philanthropic – a truly unintuitive juxtaposition.