Survey: Hallmark the No. 1 Destination for Holiday Movies, Netflix Passes Lifetime
With the passing of Thanksgiving, there can be no doubt that the holiday season has officially begun. That means that the slate of original holiday and Christmas-themed movies that companies like the Hallmark Channel produce every year is making its way to screens around the world.
Related: Check Out a Full List of Christmas and Holiday Movies Coming to Every Channel and Streaming Service This Season
A new survey from Whip Media’s research division has revealed more about the habits of those that enjoy such lean-back, low-stakes movies. The survey found that both linear TV and streaming platforms have a strong presence in consumers’ minds when it comes to original holiday films. Hallmark is the channel that users think of first when the subject of made-for-TV Christmas movies is raised, followed by Netflix and Lifetime.
The results demonstrate just how ubiquitous streaming has become. Netflix has surpassed Lifetime as a top-of-mind service for holiday movies, despite the linear channel’s decades of producing such content. In all, three of the top five destinations for holiday films are streaming services, showing that linear sources are continuing to decline as a source of content.
The survey from Whip also provided some insight as to why this might be the case. The data found that fans of made-for-TV holiday movies prefer a leisurely viewing experience as opposed to having to watch films the moment they debut on a channel or service. Among survey participants, 55% said that they like to watch this genre of films whenever they get around to it, as opposed to just 5% who said they preferred watching the movie’s premiere live. That indicates a strong preference for the on-demand viewing format that streaming services offer, but also the linear, 24/7 way that channels like Hallmark air their movies during the season.
The on-demand format is also advantageous to providers because viewers like to watch older holiday movies as well as new releases. At a rate of 74%, respondents to the survey said they liked to mix up their viewing habits by watching older movies alongside new releases. Only 17% said they preferred only to watch new holiday films.
Again, with cable channels like Hallmark and Lifetime having deep libraries of this brand of holiday fare, they can provide a wall-to-wall mix of films that give viewers the opportunity to rewatch their favorites while also sampling the latest additions.
This also bodes well for Hallmark’s recently announced collaboration with Peacock. The cable channel now has a hub on the NBCUniversal streaming service that has a number of Hallmark’s classic shows and movies, as well as the latest releases for 72 hours after they premiere.
Peacock also now carries live streams of all three Hallmark cable channels, providing viewers even more opportunities to catch their new and old favorites.
The Whip Media survey also contained some key information for content providers about the best ways to spread the word about their latest holiday movies. The survey found that platform recommendations were a powerful tool, as 51% of respondents said they were turned on to a movie because of such suggestions. That was the second most-frequent response given behind seeing a trailer for the movie.
Not all streaming customers enjoy the annual onslaught of holiday movies available at this time of year, but those that do are extremely committed. Although Hallmark reigns supreme amongst these viewers, streaming services have an increasingly large presence in their holiday movie-viewing routines.
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