The New Industry dynamic is Fragmentation, NOT Concentration

Key Fact: The Top 10 Shows in the US account for just 9.4% of viewing — this shows that in the content business the 80:20 rule is increasingly no longer applicable.

Contrary to popular opinion — the new architecture of the industry is driving fragmentation and not concentration. See the data below.

NB this is US oriented data, it would be safe to assume that globally the same change is happening but from an even lower base of concentration (the US consumer is typically used to consuming mainly US content, but outside the US the audience is more used to diversity of content. In Singapore for example there are major content blocks in English, Chinese, Bahasa, and “Indian” (Tamil/Hindi) with significant demand for Anime in Japanese and Korean Drama.

Data Source: Inscape which is a subsidiary of smart-TV maker Vizio, does an annual survey of viewing across 9m US households, making sure to cover all the major demos & geographic areas.

The findings for 2018 offer more evidence of the fragmenting state of TV, with the top 10 shows accounting for just 9.4% of total viewing.

NFL football topped the live-viewing chart, which was dominated by sports. Today, Good Morning America and Friends were the only non-sports programs in the live Top 10. ESPN’s SportsCenter was the №3 show.

Now in its third season, Live PD has become a mainstay for A&E, who will make a 150 more episodes.

Below the top spot occupied by Live PD, one notable change in 2018 compared with 2017 is the fading of The Walking Dead. The zombie series topped last year’s OTT and VOD rankings and was runner-up in the DVR standings. This year, the AMC franchise was №5 on OTT, №4 on DVR and №3 on VOD.

Looking at the Top 10 VOD titles (1) A+E — (2) ABC — (3) AMC — (4) NBC — (5) MTV — (6) MTV — (7) NBC — (8) Fox — (9) Bravo — (10) Bravo

Notice the following key observations:

  • None of the top 10 by viewing come from the Hollywood Big 6 Studios
  • There is a shift, both in the audience behaviour & correspondingly in talent (writers/directors etc), from the “Film” format to the “Multi-Episode Serial” which gives much more time and so canvass for character development and storytelling, to be binge consumed.
  • As audiences become empowered to select what they watch (VOD/OTT vs linear stream), the natural diversity in taste results in fragmentation of consumption.
  • The financial muscle that drove earlier concentration due to capability to distribute, and to get content programmed on a linear stream is being overturned by the newly available data on audience consumption.
  • The result is more opportunity for makers of great content, and Marketplaces like Vuulr give buyers more opportunity to find great content even when it does not come from mainstream sources, through traditional distribution.
  • The end result is that audiences benefit by getting to watch better content with more diversity.

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