Netflix should be more worried about losing Fox’s content than Disney’s, analyst says

Fox moved "How I Met Your Mother" to Hulu as part of a July 2017 licensing deal. (Image: 21st Century Fox)

Disney’s recent plans to pull its content from Netflix stirred a lot of discussion, but analyst Michael Nathanson says that 21st Century Fox content leaving Netflix will be a bigger blow to the SVOD.

Through a partnership with YipitData, MoffettNathanson reviewed the performance of the 500 top-rated IMDB shows and their streaming performance during June 2017 across the top SVODs: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. The data showed that 361 of those shows were available on streaming services, and that all services had higher concentrations of exclusive access to those shows, with Hulu up 22%, Netflix up 10% and Amazon up 4%.

Netflix streamed 187 of the top 500 shows (including 21 Netflix originals), Hulu streamed 171 of the top 500 shows, and Amazon streamed 91 of the top 500 shows (including three orignals).

Across all three services, Time Warner and Fox accounted for the greatest share of those shows, with 16% and 15% share respectively. CBS had 13% and NBCUniversal had 9%, followed by Disney with 7%. For Netflix, CBS and Fox are the top two contributors of top 500 shows, followed by Netflix (11%), NBCU (9%), the CW (8%), Time Warner (7%), and Disney (7%).

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MoffettNathanson then dug deeper to create a metric called Ratings Power, which measures IMDB star rating times the number of IMDB reviews times the number of episodes. In June 2017, 21st Century Fox TV represented 24% of Netflix’s ratings power followed by CBS at 16%, CW at 13%, Time Warner at 12%, Disney TV shows at 9% and Netflix originals at 4%.

“Fox’s lead position in Total Ratings Power at Netflix is critically important because Fox is in the middle of transitioning its SVOD strategies two ways,” wrote Nathanson. Fox has begun moving shows from Netflix to Hulu, including “How I Met Your Mother,” which ranks only behind “Friends” in the firm’s power ratings, while also creating the ad-free FX+ with Comcast, which could eventually become an exclusive home for FX series.

“While the recent moves by the Walt Disney Company to build a direct-to-consumer strategy has garnered all the headlines, the truth is that 21st Century Fox has been the leading contributor to Netflix’s content library,” Nathanson wrote.