Survey: Reruns Are Big Draw for Streaming Subs

What If Media
(Image credit: What If Media)

Don't tell streaming services pouring billions into original content, but according to a new survey from What If Media Group, reruns appear to be a bigger driver of subscriptions.

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According to a new survey, 29% said they would be willing to subscribe "just to re-watch a favorite TV series," compared to 26.5% who said they would do so to access a new show.

What If said that the finding could be a byproduct of pandemic fatigue and the desire for the comfort of familiarity in uncertain times.

It is younger viewers who are more likely to sign up for a service to get an old favorite, with 38.5% of the 20-29 age group saying that was the case.

“While older viewers grew up with the concept of appointment TV, on-demand content has been the norm for younger generations,” said Jordan Cohen, chief marketing officer at What If Media Group. “As such, I would expect to see streaming companies continue to pursue acquisitions of tried-and-true franchises to bolster their appeal to these groups."

"While Netflix was criticized in some quarters for spending some $500 million in 2019 to acquire the rights to stream Seinfeld," said What If, "it may well be a valuable tool in attracting subscribers to make the switch from Hulu, which previously held the rights."

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The survey was conducted online in the U.S. March 2, 2021 among 2,097 adults. The margin of error (to a 99% confidence level) is plus or minus 2.5%.


John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.