Near its launch in early in 2021, Paramount+ boasted over 30K titles. It truly was a “mountain of entertainment.” That is, unless you were looking for a mountain-sized selection of movies to choose from. Per our findings in P1 of 2021, Paramount+ had roughly 600 movies comprising about 2% of its total library at a unique title level. Compare that to the almost 4K movies Netflix had, which constituted more that 6% of its library. Peacock also had a somewhat thin selection with roughly 750 movies representing 3% of its library in P1 2021.
To be fair, these figures give serialized content additional weight thanks to the inclusion of individual episodes. But it seems safe to assume that streaming services are prioritizing binge-able content that encourages users to return. The top film on Netflix for October 4 – 10, 2021 (“The Guilty”) racked up 42.3K hours of viewing versus the top show during the same period (“The Maid”), which was viewed for close to 167K hours, for example. All that aside, there is still an appetite for movies, an appetite that users are increasingly sating with the use of streaming services. Thus, we witnessed the doubling and tripling of Peacock and Paramount+’s respective movie libraries over the course of last year.
In Paramount+’s case, the service injected about 1,000 titles near the rollout of its ad-supported tier on June 7, 2021. That infusion of movies included a range of titles from originals like “Infinite” to superhero mainstays like “The Avengers.” Tom Ryan, CEO of ViacomCBS’s streaming division, described the move as one that “further strengthens our position in the market as a premium entertainment destination.” Peacock’s growth wasn’t as sudden, but the chart below illustrates steady growth over the course of the year and is likely backed by similar rationale.
Next: Any good financial planner will tell you that diversification is golden. For streaming providers what diversification means varies depending on whether one considers the type of content (movie vs TV), the genre, the age, the language, budget etc. There’s also the question of whether the content is solely video or if it encompasses other media such as gaming, music, podcasts etc. In some ways Netflix is setting the blueprint for where we expect others will follow. Its experimentation with interactive content and now its move into gaming suggests that the diversification needed to survive the streaming wars requires more than widening a film catalog. We wouldn’t be surprised if other entrants to the streaming video scene look for ways hedge their bets in year ahead.