6 Insights You Need To Know About Streaming Brands On Social Media

TikTok has become the social network generating the most engagement for streaming brands in 2021.

Streaming services may hold viewership numbers as a closely guarded secret, but when it comes to understanding performance on social media, ListenFirst has an objective view of which streaming brands are succeeding and why. From our internal study of Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Peacock, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime and Starz, here are the 6 insights you need to know about streaming brands and social media.   

#1. Fan Growth in 2021 has slowed for streaming brands 

Streaming BrandNew Fans
Jan – Aug 2018
New Fans 
Jan – Aug 2019
New Fans
Jan – Aug 2020
New Fans
Jan – Aug 2021
Netflix15,974,23317,686,19817,278,64312,975,618
Disney+945,0662,986,7212,606,911
Apple TV+2,4538,80634,235
HBO679,5382,334,240809,106376,989
HBO Max931,3402,063,760
Hulu552,231559,670511,737509,917
Peacock220,687615,798
Amazon Prime Video621,1236,349,3172,703,6911,855,889
Showtime236,788141,654131,181173,465
Starz223,373143,645215,953173,009
Total18,287,28628,162,24325,797,86521,385,591

Looking at the streaming brands between January – August 2021, the number of new fans they generated on social media decreased by -17% compared to January – August 2020, and decreased by -24% compared to January – August 2019. 

What’s happening is while streaming brands are still growing their audience on social media, the rate of growth, which peaked in 2019, has slowed as the streaming video space becomes more crowded. For example, while Netflix got nearly 13 million new fans on social media between January – August 2021, with newer services like Peacock and HBO Max now in the space, that’s still 4.7 million less new fans than Netflix got in the same time period in 2019. 

Additionally, emerging social platforms such as TikTok and Depop are likely eating away at the traditional social channels, especially among younger users, likely contributing to the significant decrease in growth this year. Streaming brands have to experiment with establishing a presence on these newer platforms, to keep pace with shifting audience preferences. 

#2. TikTok Has Become The Most Important Platform For Content Responses 

Streaming brands got 59% of their content responses on TikTok between January – August 2021, with 33% of their responses coming from content they posted on Instagram. Meanwhile during those 8 months, 3% of responses for streaming brands came from Facebook, 3% from YouTube, and 2% from Twitter. For streaming services looking to lift their social engagement, treating TikTok as a focal point is an absolute must. 

Is the popularity of TikTok leading to streamers getting less engagement on other social media platforms? Possibly, but not in the way you’d necessarily expect.  Comparing January – August in 2021 to 2020, the number of responses for streaming brands increased by 27% on YouTube. However, during the same time streaming brands got -7% responses on Twitter, -5% responses on Facebook, and -2% responses on Instagram.      

Even as audience preferences around social networks evolve over time, video-first platforms like YouTube will continue to be strategically important for streaming brands.  

#3. The Audience Was Most Interested In Binging During The Beginning Of The Pandemic 

When people were stuck at home quarantining with nothing else to do, it appeared that binging TV shows was never more popular. But was that level of interest sustainable? 

Based on Twitter audience data, the answer is no. During Q1 2020 there were 1,190,036 Binge related Tweets which was a 24% increase compared to the previous quarter. In Q2 2020 that number even rose to 1,356,841 Binge related Tweets. However in the 4 subsequent quarters, there were on average -20% less Binge related Tweets compared to that Q2 2020 peak. 

The long term trend remains that the social audience is talking more and more about streaming TV shows in binge mode. However, now that the majority of adults are vaccinated and have more options with what to do with their time, in the short term, the audience interest in binging has actually decreased.   

#4. Shifting to releasing episodic programs weekly can help on social 

Netflix has long been synonymous with the binge release model, which they first popularized in 2013 when they released the entire first season of House of Cards at once. However, even Netflix is now experimenting with different release models, for instance releasing reality shows like The Circle and Too Hot to Handle in batches

The reason for the return to weekly episodes for streamers is largely to extend the social media conversation around their shows.  For example, ​​The Boys switched from a binge release in Season 1 to episodic weekly releases in Season 2, which helped the longevity of its social engagement and interest.  Season 2 didn’t see peaks in engagement until the finale, while interest popped at both premiere and finale. 

Meanwhile, The Mandalorian changed it’s release schedule to alternating between Wednesdays and Fridays to every Friday, leading to a higher conversation volume in Season 2 per episode despite overall interest remaining lower than Season 1. 

How do you know when a streaming show is better off coming out at once or weekly? Content that lends itself to being dissected, such as reality competitions, or regularly recapped on entertainment websites, should be released on a weekly cadence. After all, audiences would have more to reflect on in social media. 

#5.  Frequently posting about large IP’s consistently drives engagement

For streaming brands, leaning into intellectual property that’s already familiar and has a pre-existing fanbase is a proven strategy for lifting social media engagement. For example, 4 out of the 5 most shared HBO Max posts so far in 2021 were about either the Friends reunion or Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Meanwhile, Amazon Prime Video’s two most shared posts between January – August 2021 were Facebook and TikTok videos promoting Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, based on the novel set in Clancy’s Ryanverse. 

#6. Foreign Language Content Now Among Most Popular Content For Streamers 

Streaming brands now produce original programming for local regions across the world and a lot of those shows are clearly connecting with the English language audience on social media as well. For instance, Netflix’s top post in April 2020 with 1,917,159 responses was an Instagram post featuring Úrsula Corberó using a filter that matches her with a character on Money Heist. Additional foreign content shows such as Dark and Elite are also among the most buzzed programs for Netflix on social media. 

For streaming brands with popular foreign language originals, give the English speaking audience the benefit of the doubt that they’ll also embrace those shows on social media. 

Looking for more insights about streaming brands on social media? Request a ListenFirst Demo today! 

Dashboards, Machine Learning and Modern Design

Over the last year the ListenFirst team has taken a deep look at user workflows and closely collaborated with customers to understand their biggest needs. As a result, we’ve invested in many enhancements that will help users save time and uncover more relevant insights in fewer steps.  

Starting in September 2021, ListenFirst users will have access to a new platform experience. Notable features now available in the new ListenFirst experience include the ability to:

  • quickly find the data you need
  • build configurable dashboards
  • uncover key takeaways automatically
  • create brand roll-ups on the fly
  • dive into the analytics and share meaningful visuals quickly

We breakdown our most exciting enhancements below.

Configurable Dashboards

Enjoy more flexibility by creating easy-to-update dashboards tailored to your KPIs.

When you first log in to your ListenFirst account, you’ll get a quick glimpse at the performance metrics most important to you. Configurable Dashboards make this all possible. Our new dashboard feature allows customers to create specific combinations of ListenFirst data to match their team’s unique use cases and workflows. 

It’s easy to add an analysis tile to your favorite dashboard, or to multiple dashboards. It’s your choice. From there you have easy-to-understand, beautiful reports to share with other ListenFirst users.

You’re in Control with Instant Insights

Quickly understand how your brand performs on social media using simple visuals and easy-to-understand language.

Tired of burning precious hours attempting the work of a trained data analyst? Instant Insights, is a new analytics feature that quickly shows how brands perform across social media. It’s all in a single view! 

Leveraging years of intelligence gathered from working with the largest brands in the world, Instant Insights utilizes machine learning to deliver analysis like no other. Users can benchmark performance and uncover valuable takeaways in natural language. Even configure multiple brands and content filters on the fly. 

A Modern and User-Friendly Design

Introducing a complete re-imagining and redesign of navigation, data visualization, and analysis in the platform.   

We worked hand-in-hand with ListenFirst customers to ensure the new interface would provide easy access to the data needed most. This resulted in a more streamlined workflow paired with modern design. Save time with more intuitive navigation, clean data visuals and more ways to share key metrics and insightful takeaways with others.

Experience the Enhancements for Yourself

Throughout the month of September, users will be given the opportunity to switch between the new and legacy UI. So, the next time you log into your ListenFirst account, look for the toggle button at the top right.

Don’t be shy. Dive into the upgraded experience for more flexibility, faster insights and access to powerful dashboards. New feature walk-thrus will be available as you explore the platform, but for a deeper understanding of the new workflows, check out the knowledge base dedicated to the Platform Redesign found in the Help Center. 

Is your brand ready for the privacy policy changes ahead?

Create a relevant advertising strategy as technologies ramp up consumer privacy controls

With new changes sweeping the martech industry, it’s no wonder brands are struggling to understand what it means for their future marketing strategy. 

First, it was Google. Now it’s Apple. 

Brands are announcing significant changes to their end-user experience. These are changes that will limit advertisers who are retargeting ads or collecting consumer data to manage their digital marketing campaigns.

The Fate Of Digital Advertising

While the fate of some common advertising tactics remain unclear, there are still many avenues that can drive strong returns for savvy digital  marketers.  

Hear what Jason Klein, co-founder of ListenFirst, had to say on the topic. In Jason’s LinkedIn post, he shares a few tips to help brands reach their ideal audience today and in the future.

Discover Jason’s tips.

Share of Voice – How to Measure and Increase vs Industry Competitors

Watch this webinar to learn how to measure Share of Voice (SOV), a cornerstone metric that helps you understand your brand’s health and awareness in the market as it relates to your competition.

SOV gives you the overall positioning of your brand at a high level and, when done well, it also provides the details at an individual campaign, product, or release level – across all social channels. This insight is invaluable when determining performance and strategy going forward.

3 Ways To Optimize Your Digital Marketing Without Third-Party Cookies

Just like with the expression “you can attract more bees with honey than with vinegar”, the disappearance of third-party cookies from browsers is actually an opportunity for brands. Third-party cookies were never popular with consumers and now that they’ll be going away as a retargeting tool, marketers can focus on connecting with digital audiences using content they do want. 

Let social media marketing extend your reach

Social media is a far more welcoming context for the audience to interact with brand content. For example, on social media the audience actually opts into following their favorite brands. With third-party cookies, companies are doing the following, and behind people’s backs.   

Plus, with the right analytics, you can build a strong marketing strategy that extends beyond the audience you reach with third-party cookies. Below are three ways you can use social media to more effectively target your marketing to the right audience, and with the right content. 

#1 Understand what content is actually moving the needle and engaging users.

Third-party cookies track what users have viewed online, which is valuable in terms of retargeting but provides a narrow understanding of your audience. Gain extensive insights into your owned and competitive audience demographics to craft the most tailored content strategies possible. This will help you make informed decisions before spending your limited marketing dollars. 

#2 Expand your reach by partnering with the right influencers

Let’s face it, some people just have it. There are personalities across social media that have a loyal community of followers that are always eager to engage with their latest post. These influencers often attract very niche audiences. When their audience looks a lot like your target customer, there’s incredible opportunities for everyone. Check out a recent webinar from ListenFirst on Measuring the Impact of Influencers to understand how this strategy can work for you. 

#3 Review marketing content from your competitors and see how it performed

Combine historical campaign performance with competitor intel and a clear understanding of trending topics and you have the elements you need to build a successful campaign. When you have access to this data on an ongoing basis, team creativity flourishes. Watch our webinar on Using Competitive Information to Plan Seasonal Campaigns to learn more. 

As you beef up your social media strategy, you’ll notice it’s more effective and not so intimidating. Plus, a data-driven social strategy will be more engaging, and your audience will appreciate that you catered to their interests without infringing on their privacy.

Ready to see how ListenFirst can help you leverage social media to its full potential? Request a demo today.

What You Need To Know About Third-Party Cookies Disappearing

You’ve probably heard at least some conversation around Google’s plan to block third-party cookies. Did you flag it as something to investigate at a later time? If a significant portion of your digital marketing strategy is reliant on retargeted online advertising, now is the time to get up-to-speed.

The Basic Facts About Cookies

Cookies, in general, are files placed on a user’s computer to remember website configurations such as language preferences and login information. They also power web analytics and a more personalized web-browsing experience. There are mainly two types of cookies, first-party and third-party cookies. 

  • First-party cookies are usually in place to improve the user experience. They are created by the visited website.
  • Third-party cookies are usually used for cross-site tracking and ultimately retargeted advertising. With third-party cookies, a domain outside of the current website creates the cookies. 

So, What’s The Fuss About?

In early 2020 Google announced they will phase out third-party cookies within Chrome in 2022. Safari and Firefox did away with third-party cookies in 2013, but because Chrome accounts for over half of the browser market, Google’s announcement has received more attention. Marketers that lean heavily on retargeted ads are nervous about what this will mean for their future marketing strategy. 

First-party cookies are not impacted by this change. However, that makes your job of clearly communicating the value of your site upfront more crucial so that your visitor consents to your first-party cookies.

Targeted Online Marketing Is Not Going Away 

No need to fret. With cross-site tracking no longer at your disposal, there are still very effective ways to get in front of your ideal audience. 

Having a clear understanding of your key customer profiles, their influencers and their affinities will give you plenty to work with. Find target customers where they are on any of their social channels and you’ll notice you can reach a larger audience than you could with retargeted ads. All it takes is thoughtful content and key social insights. 

Learn More

Check out 3 Ways To Optimize Your Digital Marketing Without Third-Party Cookies to learn how to gather those key insights and be more strategic with your social media marketing. You can also request a ListenFirst demo, for a more personalized look at how social media analytics can help shape your marketing strategy.