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Why Studios Are Keeping Streaming Numbers Under Wraps

Photo by Luke Chesser via Unsplash

Why Studios Are Keeping Streaming Numbers Under Wraps

By Movieguide® Staff

As the ongoing pandemic continues to force exhibitors, studios and the entertainment industry to adapt, companies like Comscore, Nielsen, and Screen Engine/ASI plan to track SVOD performance (Streaming Videos On Demand)

However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, studios will not have the same motivation to share their success as they did with traditional box office numbers.

“With COVID-19 crushing box office revenue in the United States, studios have made drastic moves to get their product in front of audiences,” The Hollywood Reporter reports. “What hasn’t followed is any real sense of how those films, whether released to streaming services or to on-demand portals, are performing among homebound viewers. That may be changing as big players in the audience measurement business follow consumers to their couches.”

Despite third-party analytic companies like Nielson, a firm that measures the success of streaming and video-on-demand movies through a survey of 40,000 consumers, public accessibility to the numbers still rests will the studios.

On Jan. 25, Comscore launched “Movies Everywhere,” which, like Nielson, is a service to help assess movies’ success based on demographic and consumer behavior. Screen Engine/ASI, another entertainment research firm, also launched a similar service in April.

“We are talking to 3,000 people a week to see what they watch,” Mark Orne, head of Screen Engine/ASI’s COVID-era service PostVOD, said. “I think it’s important for everyone to know what the landscape is, and not only which movies are being more viewed than others, but what is being contributed to their success and who is watching them and how they are finding out about them.”

Orne noted that audiences are having trouble keeping up with the over-saturation of streaming titles and streaming services. Some analysts believe that the possible data from streaming and VOD is essential for when things go back to normal.

“I think we need to get closer to standardizing a view across every platform and making it something more realistic,” Shawn Robbins, chief analyst for Boxoffice Pro, said. “[The business is] going to come out of this [pandemic] evolving in some way — it’s not going to go back just like it was before. I think we’ll start to see a marriage of streaming and theatrical and find a happy medium for it. I’d want to see data that can make that happen.”