More and more consumers see Netflix as the place to go for original programming, even as they look for ways to pare down their premium channel subscriptions, according to a Morgan Stanley survey.
According to Morgan Stanley’s 6th Annual Streaming Media Survey, 29% of respondents picked Netflix as having the best original programming, up from 23% last year and besting Home Box Office with just 18%. It was the first year in the survey’s history that HBO lost the original content crown.
Netflix has spent billions of dollars on original content over the years and has had both critical and popular success with shows like Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and Jessica Jones that have resonated with audiences. The SVOD pioneer expects to outspend HBO on originals for the first time this ear -- $2.4 billion compared to $1.8 billion for HBO – as it nearly doubles the number of original shows to 31 from 16. The news also comes as Netflix readies to move grandfathered subscribers to its $9.99 monthly price point, a move that some believe will lead to a slowdown of subscriber gains.
In a research report, Morgan Stanley media analyst Ben Swinburne wrote that original content was increasingly cited by the survey respondents as a membership driver. But Swinburne also noted that the number of people that responded “Don’t Know” to the survey increased significantly – to 34% from about 27% last year – which could indicate that the rise in over-the-top offerings could be adding to brand confusion.
More survey respondents also said they intended to cut at least one premium service this year, the second consecutive year of increases. About 19% of respondents said they would definitely disconnect a premium service in the next 12 months (up from 13% last year) and 27% said they would probably cut a premium channel, up from 22% last year.