Most Important U.S. Video Brands Dominated by Streaming

Most Important U.S. Video Brands Dominated
Cheyne Gateley/VIP

VIP Subscriber Note: An expanded version of this analysis is available exclusively for subscribers. 

The sands have shifted in video. 

Data from VIP’s Viewniverse study, exclusively provided by leading consumer insights platform Wizer, highlights how the traditional broadcast and cable networks have been overtaken by streaming services in the consumer mindset. 

The Viewniverse study sought to put streaming and TV brands on the same platform to compare fairly between them. 1,857 U.S. adults aged between 18 and 64 were asked a series of questions regarding which networks and streaming services they regularly watch, and, of those, which ten they would select for a “most important” bundle. 

In this excerpt from the report, VIP looks at the top 5 most-selected video brands across key age groups. The story is clear: streaming services now dominate the mindset of most viewers, with 55-64 the only age group to both not be led by a streaming service but also only include one service in the top five. 

Top 5 Services in Bundle

It’s notable that among those younger than 35, no broadcast network cracks the top 5. This, more than anything, symbolizes the break with the past that younger viewers are making. With Netflix and YouTube dominating the top slots, the ease and convenience of viewing of these platforms, as well as low or no ad loads, show that the goalposts have changed for younger viewers and suggest that more traditionallyminded brands will struggle in the battle for the next generation of consumers. 

This is accentuated when looking at the data for the one TV or streaming brand in the user-selected bundle that was considered most important. Streaming dominates this list to an even greater degree, with Netflix the brand most likely to be selected as most important across all ages. The dominance of streaming aside, Adult Swim emerges as an important brand to the under 35s. It’s interesting to note that Prime Video increases in importance the older one gets, with Hulu going in the opposite direction. The lack of broadcast networks is distinct, with only those 45 or older having one in the top 5, and even then, the traditional giants come behind streaming brands. 

This heralds a monumental shift in video consumption. The most important brands to consumers are relatively new entrants to the video ecosystem, overtaking the traditional gatekeepers. Old media still can play a meaningful role in entertainment, for example Disney+, but this requires embracing what consumers want. A failure to do so means the continued consumer dominance by newer video brands. 

Download a free preview of the Viewniverse report. 

VIP subscribers can download the full Viewniverse report here.