PwC: The Content Discovery Challenge is Real

More than half of consumers (55%) are looking for a new TV show or movie to watch at least once per week, 83% are looking a few times each month, and nearly two thirds are struggling to find something to watch that piques their interest.

That’s all according to a new report (“CIS: Content Discovery”) from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which surveyed 1,000 consumers between the ages of 18-64 on the challenges they’re facing when it comes to content discovery today.

The report found that 79% of consumers have watched a TV show or movie based solely on the recommendation of a content service, and 90% said they liked what had been recommended to them. Algorithms employed by streaming services like Netflix and Amazon are working, with nearly 80% of all consumers (and 90% of those under 30) agreeing that “streaming services play a huge role in their discovery of new content,” according to the report.

“Entertainment and media companies have long competed on two dimensions: content and distribution,” the report reads. “To thrive in today’s increasingly competitive, crowded, slow-growth marketplace, however, they must focus on a third dimension: user experience.

“This industry shift favors the consumer, forcing content providers, media distributors, and tech companies to improve the discovery, personalization, and ‘stickiness’ of their content. Flooded by options from an ever-growing library of video content, consumers are struggling to find what they want. Add in a rapidly growing, fragmented marketplace of distribution platforms, and we’re
left with a consumer that’s overwhelmed, and ‘A’ content that’s left undiscovered and unwatched.”

Three out of four consumers agreed with the statement “despite there being a lot of choices available to me, I often struggle to find something to watch” and 61% agreed that “searching for something to watch is frustrating.”

The report also found that pay TV subscribers are less frustrated than streaming-only consumers, with pay TV subscribers tending to stick with newer shows, while streaming consumers tend to dig deep into libraries.

On the social media front, less than half (48%) of respondents said they’re influenced by what friends and family watch, and 25% said their viewing habits are largely driven by “fear of missing out” on content everyone else is watching. Eighty percent of respondents said what they choose to watch is driven mainly by their mood on any given day.

“Content is getting disaggregated across so many different OTT apps and services that people don’t know where to go to watch what they want to see,” the report concludes. “Platforms should be created with embedded deep searching across ALL apps, beyond just the one being used, so people can easily find the show they want to watch.”