The BRAG Blog: A Streaming War Full of Surprises

May 26, 2022
By: Ravi Pimplaskar

The BRAG Index, or Brand Relative App Growth Index, is a first of its kind report released by Digital Turbine and Apptopia in May 2022. The BRAG Index measures a brand’s app installs against its brand funnel (defined as consumer awareness and install intent) to find brands that had app growth that transcended its market presence. 

The BRAG Blog gives you deeper insight into our findings. Read the full report here.

Islands in the Stream

Much like the Food & Drink category, the pandemic had a large impact on our research period. In Q4, with pandemic concerns still high, stay at home orders had people well acquainted with their streaming options. As a result, Streaming Video apps had high levels of consumer awareness and intent to install, giving them the strongest growth potential (or brand funnels) on the average of any other category. 

But while people might SAY they want every streaming option out there, the reality is that there are only so many subscriptions most consumers can manage. This creates an intense competition for installs and dollars between platforms – one which was determined largely by content and cost in our research period. 

What’s in the Box?

As mentioned above, high awareness and high install intent ruled this category – and these numbers were doubly true for the big players. Out of 16 apps, only 5 had awareness below 60% (for comparison, shopping had 16 of 20 apps with awareness below 60%). 

Which meant leadership in this category was driven by actual installs – with HBOMax, Disney+, Netflix, and Peacock being the top 4 (in that order). For these large players, the difference hinged largely on content choices – and sure enough Tom’s Guide ranked these 4 in the top 7 of their streaming options for 2022. 

Other giants, like Amazon, Paramount+ and Discovery + began our research period with similarly high levels of awareness and install intent. However, their total installs lagged significantly behind the leaders…. and one non-leader.

Ranking 6th in Apptopia’s install data was Tubi, a comparably lesser known service with only 58% awareness and 3.5% install intent. Compare this with Netflix who had a whopping 93% awareness and 10% install intent. The end result was a transcendent BRAG score and a place atop our BRAG Streaming Video rankings for Tubi.

Wait….  Tubi? 

Yes, Tubi. Apptopia’s recent blog highlights how Tubi used the popularity and desire for anime content to garner lots of interest. It helped that it offered an ad-supported “free” tier of service as well – so it didn’t get lost in the subscription purge.

Also, wait. I thought Netflix had a bad quarter.

While Netflix’s recent earnings call indicated that they fell short of their goals for subscriptions in the last quarter, it’s important to remember that the streaming giant still has a sizable lead in users over other streaming services. Also, our research period was for 6 months, and sure enough in Q4 of 2021, Netflix led all other streaming video apps in installs. Their performance did indeed lag in Q1 as they fell behind HBOMax, Peacock, and Disney+. 

The other factor is that our BRAG rankings are about app installs – not subscriptions. And while someone might install an app, it doesn’t mean they will subscribe. So while Netflix may have fallen short of subscriber goals, they still had enough installs to maintain a BRAG leadership position. 

What’s Next?

Netflix always seemed to be unphased by the plethora of new entrants in the Streaming Video space, but our BRAG Rankings show that perhaps it should be more of a concern. Streaming Video is a newer industry than other app categories that still is shaking out true winners and leaders. With consumers going month to month with low barriers to exit and enter subscriptions, amazing content can drive winners from one month, quarter, and year to the next. And, face it, with Netflix having more subscribers than other platforms, that means it has more to lose than gain moving forward.

Stay tuned next week as the BRAG Blog looks at Health & Fitness and News apps! 

Previous BRAG Blogs:

How Shopping Apps Keep Up With Amazon

How CashApp Ruled Finance

Food & Drink Apps

Which Apps Got UA BRAG-ging Rights. . . and How Did They Get Them?

By Ravi Pimplaskar
Read more by this author