Weekly Column: Individualization of Content Consumption

In his capacity as a Columnist for California Sports Lawyer®, Founder Jeremy Evans has written a column about the growing trend of individualized content consumption by diversifying distribution access and capabilities.          

You can read the full column below.

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Consumers continue to turn to streaming and mobile for their content needs and interests. There have been year-over-year increases in consumers turning to streaming as the preferred platform through subscriptions to watch entertainment content, with increasing viewership on mobile devices. (See Nielsen, “State of Play: The video streaming industry has reached a tipping point”, April 2022). Studios and networks with streaming platforms are now finding ways to make content consumption more individualized through different offerings.

Deloitte, one of the big four accounting firms and professional services companies, recently purchased National TeleConsultants in an effort to obtain more specialized data from consumers as to their watching habits. Deloitte often issues industry reports on consumer habits for the general public and its clients. The added resources will help drive more data towards determining viewing numbers/minutes and therefore business-decisions to base on that data ana analysis. In other words, Deloitte sees the proverbial writing on the wall where businesses are taking their content.

Here are some examples. NBC, through its streamer Peacock, has not carried Major League Baseball (MLB) games since the year 2000. However, starting in May 2022, Peacock will now stream eighteen “[Sunday Morning Baseball[(https://frontofficesports.com/mlb-peacock-announce-18-game-slate/)” games for the 2022 season. Apple also brokered a deal to license two MLB games every Friday evening. The Apple-MLB deal is again hyper-focused on specific games, not an entire season or even a large portion of the season—less focused than NBC’s deal, but still focused. There is also the potential that sports betting will see an increase as baseball appears on more platforms, but time will tell the tale.

The benefits to consumers is that they obtain more options to watch content through multiple platforms and devices. If anything, the copyright owner, studio, and network strategy is wide distribution in hyper-focused licensing or exclusivity on one platform. Both strategies encourage more eyeballs on content—one through reaching more people in bit-sized appetites, the other through exclusivity to certain content. The benefit to brands is in advertising. Brands can now share their stories and products on platforms like Apple and Peacock that did not normally host such sports content. Streaming platforms and linear television gain by providing content in diversified ways.

Brands are increasingly using social media influencers to reach consumers as well. The key element there is believability and engagement. The age-old truth still applies—people buy from those they trust. If social media is anything, it is the individualized consumption of data, information, and content on a massive scale. Imagine taking the social media capabilities of collecting data and adding it to entertainment and sports consumption, which is in many ways what Deloitte sees in looking to new technology to analyze increasingly individualized consumer habits.

One interesting note about the Nielsen report mentioned earlier is that nearly as many shows are exclusively on streaming platforms (15%) as those that are exclusively on cable/linear television (16%). The aforementioned percentages reflect the fast growth of streaming contrasted with the drastic decline of linear television in a short period of time. The Nielsen report also shows that a combined 65% of shows either stream (41%) or appear on linear television (24%) non-exclusively. Meaning that television shows are increasingly appearing on multiple platforms, which is a trend that compliments or maybe defines the individualization of content consumption.  

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About Jeremy M. Evans:  

Jeremy M. Evans is the Chief Entrepreneur Officer, Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clientele in contractual, intellectual property, and dealmaking matters. Evans is an award-winning attorney and industry leader based in Los Angeles. He can be reached at Jeremy@CSLlegal.com. www.CSLlegal.com.

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Jeremy M. Evans is the CEO, Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clientele and is licensed to practice law in California.