Fish in water


Streaming platforms and cancelled TV shows

When popular TV shows vanish, will consumers follow suit?

Streaming platforms changed the way people watch video content. Consumers appreciate their new level of autonomy when choosing how, when, and where they view digital video content. However, as the marketplace becomes more competitive and the number of streaming options grows, the customer experience has sometimes suffered. And few things annoy consumers more than cancelled TV shows from streaming services.

Source: Deloitte analysis based on data from “Digital Media Trends Survey, 13th Edition,” Deloitte, 2019.

Aggregation of content from different sources attracted many consumers—particularly TV sitcom/drama lovers—to third-party streaming platforms. Our analysis shows that devotees of sitcoms/dramas form the most valuable group of consumers for subscription video on demand (SVOD) streaming platforms. Not only do these customers spend most of their video viewing time on streaming—they also show the maximum propensity to watch via paid streaming services (see chart). Movie lovers are next on the list, although they also spend a significant amount on ad-supported video on demand streaming platforms.1

Consumers’ passion for certain shows or genres can be a double-edged sword for streaming platforms. Having a broad library of shows and movies matters to viewers. However, the cancellation of favorite shows or movies rubs many viewers the wrong way. In fact, according to Deloitte’s “Digital Media Trends Survey, 13th Edition,” close to two-thirds of sitcom/drama fans and more than 70 percent of movie lovers agreed that they get frustrated if their favorite content is no longer available on a streaming service.2

This situation can pose a serious threat to third-party streaming platforms. As the big studios launch their own over-the-top platforms, many are pulling back significant portions of their popular content from third-party streaming platforms. The result could be the disappearance of a sizable chunk of streaming services’ sitcom/drama offerings—and a likely flood of SVOD subscribers switching to other streaming services. Streaming platforms realize this, which is why many are spending billions to produce original content.

Will it be enough? Can original content both attract and retain customers? Our analysis shows that “access to exclusive content” along with “price” and “content library” are the top three reasons why consumers choose a video streaming service. It also shows that one of the key factors why "people frustrated by library churn" stick to a streaming platform is the quality of its recommendation engine.3

Hence, streaming platforms will likely need to maintain a fine balance between investing in original content and licensing popular content from other sources to retain customers. They also need to ensure that they do not price out their loyal consumers and keep them engaged by recommending relevant titles.

This charticle authored by Shashank Srivastava on August 14, 2019.


Digital Media Trends Survey, 13th Edition,” Deloitte, March 2019.

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