“Suits” Dominates Streaming in 2023 as Licensed Content Takes Center Stage
In a surprising turn of events, the hit legal drama “Suits” has emerged as the most-streamed title of 2023, according to Nielsen. With a staggering 58 billion minutes viewed, the show surpassed all expectations to claim the top spot. Notably, “Suits” maintained its stronghold for 12 consecutive weeks on Nielsen’s viewership charts, leaving other contenders in the dust.
Adding to the buzz surrounding this unexpected triumph, Netflix recently acquired the rights to “Suits” in July, making it available for streaming on their platform. To further expand its reach, the drama can also be enjoyed on Comcast’s Peacock. This move signifies the growing importance of licensed titles in the ongoing streaming wars.
Netflix’s revelation that 45% of its viewing activity during the first half of 2023 stemmed from licensed content only solidifies the significance of this trend. In response, the streaming giant has chosen to prioritize its recommendation system and halt the licensing out of its own content. This strategic decision aims to personalize the viewer experience and maximize engagement.
On the flip side, Disney has taken a different approach by embracing licensed content. The success of shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” on Netflix and the recent acquisition of “Bluey” from BBC Studios highlight Disney’s dedication to satisfying audience demands. However, Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, has made it clear that core brands like Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars are off-limits for licensing. Iger underscores the competitive advantages and differentiation these brands bring, cementing their exclusivity.
Despite Disney’s bold strategy, analysts have expressed concerns regarding high debt loads and challenges in streaming profitability. While banking on licensed content may lead to short-term gains, the long-term sustainability and profitability of this approach remain uncertain. Nonetheless, Disney continues to stand by its decision, confident in its ability to navigate the ever-changing streaming landscape.
As the reign of “Suits” over the streaming realm exemplifies, licensed content is shaping the future of streaming platforms. The battle for viewership supremacy intensifies as platforms juggle licensed titles, original creations, and personalized recommendations. Only time will tell which strategy ultimately prevails in this cutthroat industry.