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The Rise of Subscription Video-On-Demand Services

Blockbuster is dead, remembered only by the grime covered outline of where their iconic signs used to stand. The days of brick-and-mortar video rentals are over. Subscription video-on-demand services (SVOD) are the new bells of the ball and they aren’t going anywhere. What’s so attractive about video-on-demand services? As it turns out, everything.

TiVo surveyed 3,140 internet-aged users (ages 18 and older) in the US and Canada during Q3 of 2016. TiVo asked the participants a number of questions designed to suss out the reasons consumers are so enamored with video-on-demand services. According to the study, consumers like pretty much everything about video-on-demand services: convenience, searchability, flexibility of screens, lack of screens etc. There isn’t much about SVOD that consumers don’t enjoy.

While there are many factors that are making services such as Netflix and Hulu so popular, the crux of their success lies in their convenience. No longer do you have to miss movie night because someone already checked your movie out. No longer do you have to take out a second mortgage to cover the cost of your late fees! Video-on-demand services make convenience of paramount importance. Which is why over half of those TiVo surveyed listed convenience as the biggest contributing factor to their use of video-on-demand services.

The popularity of “binge watching” entire seasons of shows is something that’s making these video-on-demand services so popular as well. According to the TiVo survey, nearly 40% of participants listed the ability to watch certain shows and have access to entire seasons as what draws them to SVOD services.

The total lack of ads is a critical component to binge watching, and why nearly 43% of those surveyed purchase video-on-demand subscriptions. The searchability of SVOD services is another big reason people choose to buy a video-on-demand subscription, with a quarter of those surveyed listing it as a major contributing factor to their purchase.

SVOD services are particularly popular among families because of their multi-screen support. You can watch shows and movies on your TV, your computer, your tablet, even your phone depending on the service! Video-on-demand services are convenient for single people but almost a necessity for a family.

The recent focus we’ve seen SVOD companies take on original content is another major contributing factor towards their massive popularity. Companies like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and more are all putting an increasing focus on original content. Netflix recently announced that they are working towards having 50% of their content catalogue comprised of original content. This high-quality original programming is a reason 25% of TiVo’s respondents decided to purchase a subscription video-on-demand service.

The shift towards subscription video-on-demand services, while good news for consumers, has been an alarming shift for cable news companies. You can already see companies like HBO and Showtime changing their models to combat this new threat and offering one-off individual subscription based access to their television content.

Whether you are already a video-on-demand subscriber or not, the rise of SVOD services will continue to have a profound impact on the television industry. It will be important to continue to watch this space as we move into 2017.

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