The BRAG Blog: How Netflix Can Win The Streaming Wars Despite Low Install Intent

Jun 29, 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 growth potential to find brands that had app growth that transcended its market presence. 

Our new BRAG Index Brand Insight Infographics, released June 23, 2022, provides insight in how brands growth potential, favorability, and more have changed since our first report. Here is one of the brands that caught our attention.

Is Netflix Vulnerable?

With Netflix stock price down 70% this year, some may wonder if the streaming giant’s time has passed. Following an earnings call that revealed a shortfall in revenue and a 200,000 subscriber loss (albeit negative 700,00 was from pulling their service in Russia), the company has taken a beating in the press. Still, in our first BRAG Index, Netflix performed well enough to rate as a BRAG leader – but, digging deeper, they ranked below competitors HBOMax, Peacock, and Disney+.

The fact is, simply being a leader isn’t the standard for Netflix. After all, the company had the highest consumer awareness of ANY app we surveyed at 93%, including shopping giant  Amazon (which had an awareness of 84%). Despite the press fallout from their earnings release, their awareness remains strong in our new BRAG Brand Insights. 

Where things have changed dramatically for Netflix is in consumers’ Intent to Install. When consumers were asked about their intent to install Netflix in the coming months, only 6.6% said they would. This was lower than ANY of the other streaming giants and a big fall from 9.6% they had in October 2021 (which was the second highest in the category at the time to Discovery+). The result was being the ONLY streaming giant that lost growth potential during that time period in a category whose overall interest increased by 34%! 

That decrease in install intent has, in fact, coincided with a drop in installs since the end of Q1, as shown in the figure below. All of this would indicate that, indeed, Netflix is vulnerable to losing market share to other streaming services. 

What Netflix Can Learn From Another App Giant

Despite that loss in install intent, Netflix still has massive consumer awareness it can use to its advantage. While social media apps were not part of our recent BRAG survey, one app that could rival if not exceed Netflix in consumer awareness is Facebook. Facebook also is no stranger to their bouts with bad press and loss of consumer sentiment. Just look at the privacy issues they’ve faced in recent years as one example.

Facebook, however, uses their brand stature and equity to its advantage through the LARGEST on-device presence of any app on the market. Buy a new phone and Facebook will likely be already pre-installed on it. One of the key reasons for this is because they are most at risk for churn when people switch phones. But if Facebook is already on the phone, people inevitably will find a time of boredom and dive in just because the app icon is there and available. 

Facebook makes no secret about pre-installing their apps on devices around the world, even touting several advantages beyond customer retention – like improving compatibility, optimizing performances, and delivering new features that improve security and the user experience. 

Being There Matters

Which is why apps with a strong brand have more to lose by not having an on-device presence. Just being in front of the customer matters – even when consumer perception or bad press might drag down your favorability or install intent. As a case in point, look at what happened to HBOMax in early June. AT&T announced it was dropping HBOMax subscriptions from its Unlimited Data plan. Without this connection, HBO Max has already seen a decline in new installs as seen below. 

In the streaming wars, where every little bit counts to stay ahead of the competition, being there can make a huge difference. And if you notice that spike for HBOMax in April, that coincided with the new season of HBO’s hit series “Barry” being released proving that content is still king for streaming video. Which is another reason why being there can make a massive difference. 

By being on the phone, people would see the Netflix icon or even get notifications when they have hot new content buzzing – like the upcoming release of the latest volume of Stranger Things! 

By Ravi Pimplaskar
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