It’s no secret that streaming companies are facing a variety of challenges. From competition to consumer subscription fatigue, the industry needs solutions to help it weather the storm. From a market research perspective, streaming companies face particular challenges in identifying and understanding their target audiences. Unlike traditional media companies that broadcast content to entire markets, streaming platforms can’t afford to take broad strokes regarding marketing or content creation. This article will examine current pain points for the industry, specifically Netflix, and how market research can help. 

The Netflix Problem

The streaming landscape is changing rapidly, and it’s getting harder for companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to stay on top. Competition from Disney+, Apple TV+, WarnerMedia, and HBO Max drives up content licensing prices. And as more players enter the market with differentiated offerings, it’s becoming difficult for any one company to dominate.

Netflix, for example, has been forced to raise prices, crack down on password sharing, and include advertisements in recent years due to rising licensing costs. 

The company has been steadily increasing its prices over the last few years and recently enacted a significant price increase. The standard plan allowing high-definition streaming is now $15.49 per month, up from $13.99 per month.

Password sharing has also cut into Netflix’s profits. A new survey by Attest, a consumer research platform that tracks streaming habits, finds that more than one-fifth of people rely on a Netflix account paid for by someone else. This amounts to roughly $400 million annually in uncollected revenue for Netflix.

In an effort to retain price-sensitive users, Netflix is introducing a new cheaper ad-supported tier to try to slow down the loss of subscribers it has experienced this year. Even still, industry experts worry that Netflix’s business model is unsustainable without major changes.

Market Research For Streamers 

Streaming companies, like Netflix, have room to grow with the right data. Streamers can differentiate themselves from one another by engaging in a direct dialogue with consumers. This dialogue could be facilitated through any channel or medium that enables two-way feedback, including social media, email surveys, and chatbots.

Streaming companies have a unique opportunity to use market research to gain a competitive edge. As the industry continues to evolve and more companies enter the space, streaming services will be increasingly important to keep their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in their customers’ lives — whether they are new entrants or established players.

Streaming services have a wealth of data that can inform their product development process. This includes things like what content people are watching (and how often), when they’re watching it, and where they’re watching it from, but also more granular details like what devices they’re using, how much time they spend viewing each month and how often they come back for more.

As a result, streaming services cannot only track user behavior but also predict future trends based on this data.

Continuous Feedback Loops

The need for real-time data is as strong as ever. The streaming industry is notorious for its fast pace, and it’s challenging to keep up with the changing landscape of consumer preferences. As a result, brands are constantly searching for new ways to gather consumer feedback and use it effectively.

As we move past the pandemic and enter an era of rebuilding, there’s still plenty of room for growth in the streaming industry. What is the best way to do this? Build customer relationships based on customer feedback.

What is the best way to build customer relationships based on customer feedback? Use online communities, panels, or custom research solutions to fit the streaming brands’ needs.

Content, Idea & Format Testing 

Brands can scientifically test content with a community of the best customers before pushing expensive advertising campaigns. Some options include:

  • Test ideas—What questions do your ideal customers frequently ask? What kinds of topics would your audience want to see covered? What do business intelligence or survey results say about user preferences?
  • Test content—Should your brand produce a mini-series or standalone videos? Does your content have a hook to get users engaged? How can you structure individual videos to encourage viewing?
  • Test format—Should you release the videos one at a time or all at once? Should users view content on your site or on third-party sites?

Innovation With Agile Research

In the past, streaming companies were focused on building a great user experience and making sure they had enough content to draw users in. But as the industry has matured, it’s become clear that users want more personalization, not just quantity. 

With so much content available, users are struggling to find what they want and then figure out how to watch it. The solution is personalized recommendation engines that tailor recommendations to each user’s interests and tastes.

To do this successfully, streaming services need to understand how people interact with their services — and how they can improve those interactions.

To make the service more personal, they must collect data on user behaviors and preferences. This data can be used to recommend content based on individual preferences or provide personalized recommendations based on the user’s location, time of day, or other factors.


Real-time data is more important than ever in today’s fast-paced streaming industry. The needs of brands are changing constantly, and it’s difficult to keep pace with what consumers want. For streaming brands, online communities, panels, and custom research solutions can be effective ways to get information. Brands can test content with a community of the best customers to see what resonates most before spending big money on an advertising campaign. Personalized recommendation engines can offer another competitive edge by catering to each user’s unique interests and tastes.

Streaming companies are facing a variety of challenges. From competition to consumer subscription fatigue, the industry needs solutions. Market research can help streaming companies identify and understand their target audiences by analyzing content preferences and marketing tactics.

Learn more about the state of entertainment and media with our webinar, “Predicting the Future of Media.”