Keep calm & stream on: your viewers are counting on it!
A lot of realignment is expected this year on the market of streaming services, especially since new ones are entering. Users are already hyped – we’ll show you just how much.
Even though it’s springtime, we’re slowly leaving the pandemic behind, and so we’re spending less time stuck at home, the market for video streaming services is still growing. It is expected to continue to do so in the next few years as well, especially since several providers are set to expand their availability to new countries.
Which providers do users like the most, and which new ones are they most excited about? What sort of content has had the most success? To answer these (and even more) questions, we have looked at the online mentions of Netflix and HBO Go (now replaced by HBO Max) in Hungary, as well as those of Disney+ and Paramount+, launching in the country in 2022. Mentions were analyzed from the last six months (starting from the 1st of September to the 28th of February).
The wind of change
While Netflix unsurprisingly had by far the highest mention count (over 78 thousand), the other three streaming services all had an increasing trend in the online buzz about them.
HBO Go reached its highest mention peak in the examined period on the 21st of January this year, when it was announced that from the 8th of March, HBO Max would be replacing the service. HBO Max provides 15 thousand hours of content, which is much higher than HBO Go’s amount. However, HBO Go’s online reputation fell significantly on this day: many users complained that the service has already become unavailable on their smart device, but they had not been informed about it at all.
The second peak came on the 1st of February, when the details of the switch to HBO Max were disclosed, and by this point, the online mood was much better than two weeks before.
Web Opinion Index: there were some major ups and down for HBO Go when the switch to HBO Max was announced
January was also an exciting month for Disney+, as on the 26th it was officially announced that it would be launching in Hungary over the summer. The news was on the frontpage of 76 news sites that day, and received an outstandingly positive response. Finally, Paramount+ also had the most mentions around this time period, due to the series version of Halo arriving to the repertoire, as well as the new Beavis and Butthead movie, and also because of articles mentioning a new contract between them and South Park’s creators.
Hungarian users love Netflix, but it also gets heavy critique
Positive mentions outweighed the negative ones concerning Netflix, but it was quite a close call: 19.9% versus 17.34%. However, some of the negativity was not directed towards Netflix itself: the worst outrage happened last November, when one of the Hungarian daily papers, Magyar Nemzet, filed a complaint at the Hungarian Media Authority because of an animation intended for children. The show features a non-binary character (a bison), as well as a character who has two fathers. Many commenters bashed the paper for its closed-mindedness and were saddened that this was the Hungarian reality of 2021.
The large dip in the Web Opinion Index in November was due to the scandal around the animation Ridley Jones
The incident illustrates well how streaming services play an important role in fair representation, especially in countries where the main political powers are trying to force a different agenda. Users are not willing to give up their access to these shows and the attached world views either.
These shows had users glued to the screen
The most popular show on Netflix was Squid Game during this time: it was mentioned together with Netflix more than a thousand times, and appeared in many of the most engaging posts, including memes already directly unrelated to the show.
Squid Game #1 show in 90 countries on Netflix but no big “name” actors for anyone that isn’t familiar with Korean media 🤔— James Tang (@jamesthetang) October 9, 2021
It’s almost like people are willing to watch anyone as long it’s a strong story that’s well told, well made, and well acted when it’s given a platform
Many people also loved Cobra Kai: this Facebook post about Season 4 had over 4.1 million views.
HBO Go’s viewers were most excited about revivals, like Return to Hogwarts, the film commemorating the Harry Potter movies’ 20th anniversary, as well as And Just Like That, the new chapter of Sex And The City.
The above listed posts also show that the social media pages of the streaming services are very active, and they generate the highest engagement around them.
Disney+ and Paramount+ don’t have Hungarian social media yet, but users are already keenly following what type of content will be available on them: the Star Wars spin-off Obi-Wan Kenobi’s announcement on Twitter got many retweets, as well as this funny tweet reacting to the upcoming Beavis and Butthead movie.
Users’ excitement in the past six months’ data clearly shows that streaming services play a vital role in our lives, not only because they are an easily accessible and fun way to relax, but also because many of the shows tell important stories about us and connect people around the world. Can success and sharing positive messages go hand in hand? Absolutely.