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Netflix Again Blows Past HBO, Others as No. 1 Pick for ‘Best Original Programming,’ Survey Finds

Netflix continues to wear the crown as having the “best original programming” among premium TV and over-the-top subscription services, according to new research from Morgan Stanley.

About 40% of consumers surveyed said the streamer is the No. 1 outlet on this front, up from 39% last year. The next highest scoring service was HBO, at 11%, which was down from 14% on the firm’s 2018 survey. The research comes out a day after HBO aired the series finale of “Game of Thrones” — which has rekindled questions about how much momentum HBO may lose now that its most popular show in recent years has concluded.

On Morgan Stanley’s latest survey, after Netflix in second place was “don’t know” with 32% of responses, indicating that many consumers don’t have a strong opinion about which network or OTT service has the best originals.

About 6% of respondents said Hulu has the “best original programming” (up from 4% a year ago), according to the survey. “With Disney taking full operational control of Hulu, we expect Disney to leverage its content production and [intellectual property] portfolio to drive more original programming at Hulu,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in the report.

Among other services, 5% of those surveyed said Amazon Prime Video has the best originals, followed by 2% for both Showtime and Starz.

Morgan Stanley’s AlphaWise online survey polled 3,041 U.S. adults (18 and older) in March 2019. The research firm said the sample is nationally representative in terms of age, gender and region. Note that the results for which network or service had the “best” original programming included responses from all those surveyed, whether or not they subscribe to the service.

Execs at HBO — and parent company AT&T — may be concerned that perceptions about the premium programmer’s relative status as the marquee producer of original TV shows is declining, especially with “Game of Thrones” ending its run after a strong hold on the cultural zeitgeist. During the first quarter of 2019, “Game of Thrones” captured the most social buzz among TV shows, according to research firm ListenFirst Media. That was followed by Netflix’s comic-book adaptation “The Umbrella Academy” and “You,” the psychological drama Netflix picked up for season 2 after debuting on Lifetime.

The survey results also suggested that Hulu is likely a bigger driver of cord-cutting than Netflix. That’s not surprising, given that Hulu sells a live TV streaming package that serves as a replacement for traditional cable or satellite TV. One-third of Hulu subscribers said they did not have traditional pay TV, versus 27% of Netflix customers and 22% of all respondents, according to Morgan Stanley.

Pictured above: Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy” season 1

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