About the author: Aaron Burcell is the CEO of methinks, where he oversees marketing, revenue operations and marketing partnerships. He is a mentor and advisor to the TechStars Fintech community, as well as individual startups in video, streaming video and fintech. Aaron has worked on video platforms and online media networks throughout his twenty-year career. Recently, Aaron was the CMO and COO at Loop.tv, an industry leader in Digital Out-of-Home premium content and advertising solutions, servicing thousands of commercial locations throughout North America, and popular online digital services from Amazon, Disney and other leading video distributors.


 At methinks, our customers include media companies, ad networks, streaming platforms, over-the-top (OTT) apps and other entertainment companies. Our Thinker base is largely based in the US, and numbering in the hundreds-of-thousands. When Thinkers create a methinks account, they share a lot of consumer preferences to help methinks match Thinkers to research projects posted by our customers. As a result, we are sitting on a lot of information about consumer entertainment preferences, and for the curious, our aggregate Thinker data can be quite fascinating. 

When news that our friends over at Disney+ were launching a new service last year, we decided to take a snapshot of our customer data before they launched in order to identify market preferences. And, while the overall data is interesting, we started to drill down in different market segments. Of particular interests to me, the preferences of adult women. 

Why are adult women so interesting in the context of streaming media? 

This is where my experience at Vevo and Loop.tv gives me some insights: Adult women in families make most of the household purchase decisions, and this includes streaming media subscriptions. And, much of the advertising in streaming media is targeting women, both in consumer and commercial services. 

Let’s go to the numbers. 

Here are two cohort slices of our streaming media data with really interesting differences:

Note: sample sizes in the thousands.

Let’s think about this information a bit. 

1. Women 30-50: YouTube beat Netflix by 5% in first choice. That is not what I expected, and I bet there are a few people in Los Gatos and Mountain View very surprised by this data point as well. 

2. Also in Women 30-50: Roku was a bit of a surprise at 13%. Although, having worked with them, and knowing several of their investors and executives, I knew that they historically over-index in men 40+ years. This suggests that they’re making inroads with this key demographic. 

3. Again, in Women 30-50: I was surprised by Hulu’s status, with only 5% choosing that service as their favorite. 

4. Amongst Women age 20-29: Netflix won out in first choice over YouTube, but by a margin of only 3%. That’s only a bit surprising. But, Amazon coming in at 12% in this cohort is very interesting. It appears the Prime bundling and branding might not be as persuasive with this younger set. 

Netflix and None. 

I thought that Netflix would be the clear winner in both first and second preferences. But, as it turns out, Netflix loses to “none” in second choice for both cohorts. And, it’s decisive. That was unexpected. 

There are a lot of explanations for “none” in this rank-stacked order of preferences. But, the numbers don’t lie. Netflix and YouTube have huge title marketing budgets and free trial efforts, yet, it’s clear that there’s a huge opportunity for Disney+ or anyone else to compete for the favored spots within these prized demographic groups. 

For the veteran in streaming video marketing, one might be tempted to question the brand power of Netflix or wonder what kind of advantage the Amazon Prime brand really provides in marketing to these cohorts. And, a skeptic might wonder what was gained for Disney+ in acquiring Hulu, aside from much-needed content.

These are areas we’re likely to explore in the months to come.

 

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