Amount of Original Scripted TV Content Nearly Doubles in Seven Years - eMarketer

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Amount of Original Scripted TV Content Nearly Doubles in Seven Years

Original content doesn’t necessarily drive subscriptions of streaming services

January 13, 2016

The number of original scripted TV shows has grown over the years, not only on basic cable, but also on services like Hulu and Netflix, which have become video streaming destinations because of their original content.

FX Networks, as cited by Variety, looked at the progression of US original scripted TV series over the years. Unsurprisingly, basic cable—including DirecTV—grew the most over the period, and will most likely continue to as networks like Fox and ABC unveil new shows at the annual upfronts. For example, in 2009, there were 66 original scripted TV shows on basic cable and in 2015 there were 181.

Broadcast television, including PBS, also saw a steady increase in original content over the years. Last year, there were 147 original scripted shows, an increase from the 122 that were on in 2009.

Back in 2009, streaming services— which include Amazon Prime, Crackle, Hulu, Netflix and Yahoo —offered only two original scripted TV shows,. In 2015, that number grew to 44 shows. Pay cable also saw a steady growth, from 21 original TV shows in 2009 to 37 shows in 2015.

Overall, there were 211 original scripted TV series in 2009 and last year there were 409.

Original programming, especially via streaming services, has been capturing the attention of advertisers. In fact, many have been focusing on it. According to April 2015 data from UBS, there was a leap in digital video viewership last year and a decline in traditional TV audience.

However, while original content may be increasing, it isn’t necessarily driving subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix. November 2015 research from RBC Capital Markets found that more than half of US internet users said having access to original content did not influence their decision to subscribe to Netflix at all. And more than a quarter of respondents said that having access to original content convinced them a great deal, or a good amount, to subscribe to Netflix.

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