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Viewers Prefer Licensed Content to Originals; Bad for Netflix?

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A successful over-the-top (OTT) service needs both licensed and original content, but which is more important to viewers? According to a new report from PwC, viewers spend most of their time watching licensed content, and that holds for all age groups. On average, viewers estimate 56% of the movies and shows they choose are licensed, and 44% are original.

News 1That could spell trouble in long run for industry leader Netflix, which has adopted an aggressive original content strategy. Moving past originals to find licensed content on the service already feels like a chore. Netflix is pushing orginals to make up for its diminishing access to premium licensed content. By the end of next year, for example, all Disney titles will be off the service.

PwC's report offers interesting thoughts on content discoverability, long a pain point for overwhelmed viewers. The report says viewers would appreciate new and innovative ways of hunting for titles: 70% would like to browse content by mood, 65% by length, 61% by who they're with (or if they're alone), and 52% by the country of origin.

"Given the apparent limitless amounts of content being offered, a strong user experience hinges on viewers easily being able to find exactly what they’re looking for—even more so than the casual browsing experience," the report says.

PwC got its data by questioning 1,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 via an online survey in March 2019. For more results, download "Streaming Ahead: Making UX and Content Strategy Work Together" for free (no registration required).

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