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Niche streaming platforms are thriving among the streaming giants

Niche streaming platforms are thriving among the streaming giants
Niche streaming platforms are thriving among the streaming giants

While the big names in streaming services are struggling with subscribers cancelling or switching services, niche platforms are finding their strengths. Streaming services like Crunchyroll, Shudder, Acorn TV and Cineverse are holding their own against the industry giants.

The battle of the streaming services

Streaming has become a battleground in the entertainment industry. On average, viewers subscribe to about four streaming services. The big names like Netflix often grab one or more of these spots, leaving little room for others. However, there is a whole world of specialized streaming platforms that are surprisingly successful despite staying out of the spotlight.

When we talk about streaming giants, names like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Max, Peacock and Paramount+ come to mind. But beyond these well-known platforms, niche streaming services are thriving. How? By providing dedicated fanbases with specific and specialized content.

New players in the niche market

New players are constantly emerging in this sector. One example is Dropout by College Humor, which is aimed at comedy lovers. Try Guys and Watcher, two other services developed by former BuzzFeed employees turned YouTubers, are working to make their YouTube audience more loyal and capitalize on it.

Crunchyroll, a Sony-owned platform aimed at anime fans, is doing well with 13 million subscriptions. AMC Networks operates Shudder, a horror-specific service, and Acorn TV, which focuses on British series. Cineverse, with its 1.4 million video-on-demand subscribers, controls both the horror service Screambox and the independent film service Fandor.

What is the goal?

The goal of these platforms is not to attract millions of viewers. Their goal is to create loyal fans who keep coming back. For example, AMC’s niche streaming services have managed to attract 11.2 million subscribers in total. These platforms are more interested in building sustainable businesses than in attracting every possible viewer.

Where is the advantage?

Focusing on a niche pays off. Specialized content keeps subscribers engaged. While larger services offer a broader content base, they lack the personal touch of a niche service. This is exactly why platforms like Dropout or The Try Guys’ 2nd Try, which focus on comedy content, work well.

The Giants are not perfect

Larger broadcasters often fail to produce small shows that have their own charm. While big-budget productions like Only Murders in the Building dominate mainstream platforms, there is also room for smaller, engaging content.

Digital creators have the opportunity to showcase diverse perspectives and redefine storytelling. But they face challenges, particularly when it comes to technology and content budgets. The bigger players like Netflix and Disney are pumping billions into technology and content. Smaller platforms typically have to make do with ready-made technology and smaller content budgets.

Deliver consistently or perish

For niche services, consistently delivering high-quality content is crucial to justifying subscription fees. Success lies not only in gaining subscribers, but also in retaining them.

Lean is the mantra

Niche platforms need to operate lean to be profitable. They need to be cautious with spending, maintain a small team, and make strategic decisions. This lean approach facilitates gradual growth and allows for some experimentation.

In contrast, the larger players are losing money in competition with Netflix and others. As a result, niche platforms are doing better. Although smaller, they offer creatives a sustainable career opportunity and could become a promising alternative in a crowded streaming landscape.

In summary, niche streaming platforms are standing up to the big guys and proving that sometimes smaller can actually be better!

For more details, see the Project Casting blog at https://www.projectcasting.com/blog/news/how-churn-impacts-streaming-platforms/.

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