2021 – The Year of OTT
2021 was a turbulent year for feature films. Studios/Distributors all took different approaches to varying degrees of success with their releases. Some titles truly outperformed and won, others lost but many had varying degrees of success depending on which media a title was in release. Domestic Box Office for the year reached US$4.4b while Digital Home Entertainment (including TV series) is estimated to reach US$28b for 2021. Thus, while the theatrical business continues to recover, audiences overwhelmingly prefer screening product at home.
We took a deep dive into 2021 OTT viewing by using our proprietary P2P data platform. The system captures 125m transactions per day across the world to agglomerate to an annual tally of 35b. From this we are able to parse out consumption by territory, time period and title for any feature film or TV series. In this case, we took the strongest week of playability in 2021 by title to see how titles performed by Studio/Distributor. Evaluating top five title market share allows one to compare all titles by eliminating seasonality bias as well as the effect of theater closures.
As the above graphic illustrates, known IP, franchises and sequels drove performance for the top titles of any Distributor. Some Distributors took hybrid approaches to their release while others released exclusively in theaters before releasing on OTT. In the end, both release types played well for OTT viewing. However, as we seen throughout 2021, the same cannot be said for Box Office.