Hub’s annual Evolution of Video Branding study found large gaps between TV service name recognition and true understanding of each service’s value proposition, the firm said.

Hub’s “Evolution of Video Branding” study was conducted among 1,601 U.S. consumers with broadband, age 16-74, who watch at least one hour of TV per week. The data was collected in February 2022.

Hub has been tracking consumer awareness, familiarity, and understanding of top brands in the TV marketplace over the past four years.

Among the most recent findings were the following:

  • Although consumers don’t have a strong understanding of many TV streaming brands, they tend to be more confident describing brands that they feel focus strongly on a particular set of genres.
  • The TV streaming service considered to have the strongest genre focus is Disney+, beating out even ESPN+, which ranked second.
  • The rest of the top five services considered to have the strongest genre focus are, HBO Max, Discovery+, and AMC+.

Hub said that when consumers were asked which genres they associate with each service Disney+ stood out as having a unique content image.

Among those who feel Disney+ has a strong genre focus, kid’s genres, theatrical films, and fantasy/supernatural genres were cited most commonly.

Hub pointed out that the findings emerged “right around the same time that Disney CEO Bob Chapek committed, during the company’s February earnings call, to expanding Disney+’s catalog of non-kids, non-superhero, general entertainment programming.”

Hulu, on the other hand, was seen as strong in dramas (also cited as a top genre for Netflix, Amazon, and HBO Max), but also in adult animation and anime.

Hub said the top five SVOD TV platforms have succeeded in making their services virtually household names. Some 96% or more TV consumers said they have heard of Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max.

Source: Hub Entertainment Research

But the study found these services have been less successful in communicating their distinct value propositions, including what exactly they offer and how they’re different from competing services.

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TV consumers are most likely to say they’d feel “confident” describing what Netflix offers to someone else (80%), Hub said.

Source: Hub Entertainment Research

However, no more than about two-thirds feel they could describe each of the other four “Big 5” SVODs, Hub said.

Name awareness was also high for newer, more niche SVODs, but no more than half of consumers understand what makes each one distinct.

More than 85% of respondents said they have heard of Peacock, Paramount+, Discovery+, Apple TV+, ESPN+, and AMC+.

Source: Hub Entertainment Research

But Peacock is the only service in the group where a bare majority said they know enough about the service to describe it to someone.

Consumers essentially see free ad-supported TV (FAST) streaming services as one large, indistinguishable category.

For most FASTs, name recognition is not a big problem: for all but XUMO, 7 in 10 or more said they have heard of the service.

Source: Hub Entertainment Research

But as popular as FASTs have become, with the exception of the Roku Channel, no more than one-third of TV consumers understand what each offers.

“TV services have been ramping up their ad spending in recent years; in fact, the number of streaming service ad impressions more than doubled between 2019 and 2020” said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study. “As a result, virtually everyone has heard of most of the TV streamers in the market today. But those ad initiatives have not been nearly as successful in helping potential users understand why they should sign up for any given service.”

To learn more about the study visit Hub.

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By Greg Tarr

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