Amid concerns that streaming services are beginning to lose their lustre, new research from Ampere Analysis shows the platforms are increasingly committed to long-running series.
The London-based consultancy says the increase in the volume of streaming renewals is being driven by relative newcomers to the VOD landscape such as Disney+ and Discovery+. Both broadcasters are taking multiple season risks on high profile titles, while also renewing shows previously destined for their linear platforms.
It goes against the common misconception that streaming series are more likely to be short-lived than their linear counterparts following a number of Netflix cancellations.
“It has been suggested that streamers’ high rate of cancellation is purely due to their high rate of commissioning, where a large volume of titles are ordered with the expectation that only a handful of titles will succeed,” said Olivia Deane, Senior Analyst, Ampere. “However, with an overall increase in the volume and proportion of returning VOD titles, streamers must strike a balance between committing to fresh new content and satisfying fans of existing titles in order to compete.”
Of all VOD renewals in the UK and United States announced during 2021, 51% were in their fourth or later season, a 6% increase in comparison to 2020, suggesting that long-running series are no less effective in driving both subscriber growth and retention than shorter, or limited series.
According to Deane, there are some easy decisions for the streamers when recommissioning shows they know viewers will love.
Unscripted titles were less likely to be cancelled than their scripted counterparts, representing just 7% of all streaming cancellations in 2021. Unscripted titles are also more likely to last longer, representing the highest proportion of all VOD renewals in Q1 2022 (54%).