Tentpoles vs. Long Tails: The popularity forces shaping the streaming wars [Video]

16 September, 2020

“If we read the news headlines we get the sense that the TV business is becoming blockbuster dominated and we wanted to test that hypothesis.” – Alejandro Rojas, Director of Applied Analytics, Parrot Analytics

Alejandro Rojas recently delivered a presentation comparing tentpole series with shows making up the long tail of demand. These two categories of content have come to define the streaming wars. On the one hand, tentpole series achieve blockbuster status, dominate the news, and draw a broad audience to a platform. However, the long tail of content makes up the bulk of streaming platforms’ catalogs and is a strategic asset for attracting niche audiences.

In this presentation, we investigate topics including:

Is TV becoming blockbuster dominated like the movies? As tentpole series capture a larger share of audience demand, are long tail shows being crowded out and if so, what role do they play in the streaming wars.

What is the strategic importance of tentpole series to streaming platforms? Does demand for tentpoles drive subscriptions.

How does long tail content look different from tentpole content? Which genres are overrepresented in each category of content.

Where to find hidden gems of long tail content to import to the US market? Which international markets make up the greatest demand share of long tail content in the US.

Which genres succeed as long tails or tentpoles? Where are there supply gaps that can be targeted with new content.

Which platforms rely most heavily on long tail content? If you are looking to monetize value of long tail content, these platforms rely more on this type of content and may have tapped into niche audiences that value this content most.

Finally, what have been the impacts of COVID-19 on demand for long tail content? With less new content being produced, and increased demand from audiences in lockdown have viewers discovered more long tail content?

You can watch the full presentation here.

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