We often hear about big streamers dominating the market and crushing smaller players, but is it possible the majors actually help niche streaming services grow? That was one intriguing thought offered by BritBox SVP, Marketing Nada Arnot at Questex’s virtual Stream TV Growth Summit this week. Whether it’s Netflix sparking a global phenomenon with “The Crown” or Amazon Prime Video picking up “A Very British Scandal” exclusively, Arnot said the broad exposure given to British content by the big streamers ultimately steers more subscribers her way – and even helps BritBox determine what library content to acquire. “Our approach is that the pie is very large and they’re not actually our competitors, almost building the palace for British content in the North American marketplace,” she said, noting that even a show like “Bridgerton” can stealthily help seed the market because many fans don’t even know they’re watching British TV. It just feels British. And maybe that’s enough.
Next? To be sure, marketers know how to spot pop-culture trends, build lookalike profiles on social media and ultimately acquire subscribers who are fans of like-minded content. And this obviously extends beyond British fare. Could a niche SVOD focused on South Korean content find and lure fans of Netflix’s “Squid Game”? Or might AMC Networks’ newly acquired HIDIVE niche anime service benefit by mining data on fans of Netflix’s burgeoning anime initiative? Could Univision’s newly rebranded ViX (formerly PrendeTV) stalk fans of Spanish-language phenom shows like Netflix’s “Money Heist” to find new customer segments and cultivate more efficient subscriber acquisition? It’s interesting to think that the big SVODs— by spending billions to make content that appeals to small niches within their own massive subscriber bases—are in effect becoming testing labs and market research organs for smaller players. “How do we build a symbiotic world,” asks Arnot. Who knows? Perhaps co-existence is a thing after all