skip to main content
Close Icon We use cookies to improve your website experience.  To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy.  By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies.
Global Search Configuration

Straight Talk Media & Entertainment

Ovum view

In-season TV series stacking was a talking point at various “upfront” gatherings of US TV advertising executives in New York last month, with broadcasters demanding rights to make all episodes of any new TV series they pick up available on demand. Clearly, broadcasters need such rights to fend off competition from subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) providers such as Netflix and Hulu, but there’s more to it than satisfying consumers’ needs to watch TV on demand.

Content is king but viewers rule

Even after years of relentless disruption, the key driver of success in the TV business remains unchanged: great content that consumers love. But viewers expect to be able to watch content whenever they want and to control the viewing experience. Service providers not only need a technical ability to satisfy viewer demands on all platforms and devices, but the rights to exploit content across all these avenues.

Video-on-demand (VoD) rights are a must-have for traditional broadcasters, and negotiations around content have evolved in recent years to include new windowing strategies and concepts such as catch-up TV, box sets, and series stacking. In an unprecedented deal in March, Warner Bros. Television agreed to grant ABC streaming and on-demand rights to all episodes launching in the next two seasons. Previously, such deals only allowed the five most recent episodes to be made available.

Different forms of viewing will persist

This doesn’t mean that studios and broadcasters believe that linear TV is going to fade away. In-season stacking highlights a more nuanced understanding of how viewing differs by platform and how context drives consumers to watch particular types of content.

According to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, ratings may be down, but linear TV still accounts for the majority of time spent with media – even among millennials. On-demand platforms are great for “binge watching” a particular show, but the challenge of finding and choosing something to watch can be frustrating when viewers just want to relax and unwind. This explains linear TV’s resilience in the face of technological change, especially for genres such as news, light entertainment, factual, and reality.

The mixed modes of in-season stacking

Understanding how different TV genres perform on each platform is critical. The serialized nature of drama is generally more suited to an on-demand service where viewers can binge. But enabling viewers to sample shows on demand thanks to in-season stacking can also lead them to start watching a series as it’s broadcast and enjoy a more social experience of TV.

In a world of nearly unlimited choice, the TV industry needs to accommodate existing and emerging forms of consumer behavior and expectations to keep viewers satisfied. In-season stacking promises to not only satisfy consumers, but also bring together the growing number of ways people like to discover, watch, and enjoy TV.

Straight Talk is a weekly briefing from the desk of the Chief Research Officer. To receive this newsletter by email, please contact us.

Recommended Articles

  • Service Provider Markets, Consumer & Entertainment Services,...

    MWC 2018 Highlights

    By Ronan De Renesse 27 Feb 2018

    Over 20 of our senior Ovum analysts and consultants attended this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February. In between meetings, briefings and presentations, our analyst team were blogging and tweeting about key developments, trends and rumors. Have a look through our daily MWC 2018 Highlights to find out what happened.

    Topics 5G AI IoT Cloud Payments SDN/NFV Smart home

  • Internet of Things

    IoT Viewpoints 2018

    IoT Viewpoints explore the IoT opportunity in 2018 and beyond. Download our latest e-book to get our newest collection of thought leadership articles on the emerging IoT trends, technologies and opportunities.

    Topics IoT

  • Consumer & Entertainment Services

    US pay TV: Is it facing an existential threat?

    By Adam Thomas 28 Mar 2018

    With US pay TV having endured the worst year in its history, thoughts have inevitably turned to the future. The likelihood remains that the immediate future will remain highly uncomfortable for everyone except the scaled multinational digital platforms.

;

Have any questions? Speak to a Specialist

Europe, Middle East & Africa team - +44 (0) 207 017 7700


Asia-Pacific team - +61 (0)3 960 16700

US team - +1 646 957 8878

Email us at ClientServices@ovum.com

You can also contact your named/allocated Client Services Executive using their direct dial.
PR enquiries - Call us at +44 788 597 5160 or email us at pr@ovum.com

Contact marketing - 
marketingdepartment@ovum.com

Already an Ovum client? Login to the Knowledge Center now