Streaming has taken over media. According to the Gulf South Index from The Ehrhardt Group and Causeway Solutions, 53% of Gulf South residents spent two hours or more per day on streaming devices in 2022. Furthermore, it feels like all the streaming giants are constantly trying to one up each other. But what do we know about the numbers in 2023? And how long can streaming’s power sustain?


The Great Streaming Wars of 2023

Welcome to the “streaming wars.” Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Apple TV, Peacock, Paramount+, YouTube TV and so on… Each service offers its own catalog of must-watch new programming as well as beloved classics, according to Nielsen’s monthly media report.

While streaming remains the top viewing choice, many individual services haven’t sustained the growth levels they experienced during the pandemic. Perhaps it’s the rising prices of every network due to inflation or content production costs, or the sheer number of options makes it unsustainable for a single person or household to access each one. Either way, streaming services are finding ways to continue growing in the overcrowded market, often resulting in stiff competition.

Some services are providing cheaper tier options with increased advertising presence. Some are clamoring for not only hit original programming but also well-loved classics with high re-watch value. No matter what method they’re approaching, it’s clear all the streaming services are in competition to remain a necessity in people’s homes.

Perhaps the service feeling the most heat is Netflix. According to research by Causeway Solutions, Netflix spent years as the streaming service with the highest subscriber count, but lowest churn of new TV shows and movies. In 2022, however, Netflix almost doubled their churn rate to remain competitive in the face of dwindling subscriber numbers.

Morning Consult predicts another shift for the company, and all streaming services: focus less on subscriber numbers as a metric of success. Instead, quality of new programming and revenue will be the focus. In the post-pandemic streaming lull, this might be the best measure for companies not used to stagnation.

For now, it seems Netflix can hold out a little longer as the premier service. At least until they enforce their password-sharing crackdown rules, which already has people in an uproar, and a potential user exodus may soon ensue.


Eagles, Chiefs and Ads

Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for sports fans, but it might be even bigger for advertisers. One of the only days of the year where people are more excited for the advertising portion of programming as opposed to the main event, these commercials usually feature high-profile celebrities and high budgets – but the revenue that comes from them makes it worth the investment.

In 2021, Kantar reported that $434.5 million was generated in ad revenue during the Super Bowl. These ads average 30 seconds and can cost upwards of $6 million just to secure the spot – and the prices get higher and higher each year. It’s worth it for advertisers, though. The Super Bowl is one of the most watched sporting events in the world, surpassing even The Olympics many times. The recognition and investment that comes from successful Super Bowl advertising is unmatched. Kantar reports a $4.60 return on investment per dollar spent.

This year, ads are expected from M&M’s, Heineken, Downy, TurboTax and more.


No New Podcasts

Everybody probably knows somebody who started a podcast in 2020. After months stuck at home, with limited in-person contact, droves of people got the bug to start sharing their stories with a larger audience. This came with varied success – many podcasts took off, but many others shuttered almost immediately.

The most popular podcasts, of which there are plenty, continue their streak of success. Podcast listening is one of the most common digital audio habits, engaging with younger generations more successfully than radio and audiobooks – and sometimes even more than traditional news sources. In the Gulf South, 54% of residents trusted podcasts as a source of information in 2022, more than they trust their social media platforms. Platforms such as YouTube and Apple often offer these podcasts at no charge. Spotify is successfully entering the podcast game too, but YouTube remains where 29% of podcast listeners go for their enjoyment.

Podcast making, however, dropped drastically once the world returned to normal life. In 2020, ListenNotes’ podcast stats research reported over 1 million podcasts were started by just about anyone. Now, in 2022, only around 220,000 determined it was time to begin podcasting.

It makes sense why podcasts boomed when people had nothing but time on their hands. It makes even more sense that in 2022, people quickly lost interest in attempting to infiltrate an oversaturated market. As for 2023, it seems like podcast listening is here to stay – good news for the early bids of 2020 who entered a new field and reaped the benefits of it.

The pandemic opened the floodgates for steaming services to climb and podcast enthusiasts to turn on the mic. And for two years, these industries saw continuous growth. Now, with the world starting to feel more like some version of 2019 again, it seems things might be slowing down. There’s no way to tell when streaming might hit its ceiling, and although numbers are starting to fall, no doubt it has forever changed how we interact with our entertainment.


The Ehrhardt Group Expands to Baton Rouge

The Ehrhardt Group has opened a second Louisiana office in Baton Rouge, our first outside of New Orleans.

We’ve had a concentration of work in Baton Rouge and the Capital region for more than 25 years, as we worked side-by-side with our clients, providing solutions and fortifying strategic regional relationships on their behalf. This new office was a logical next step for TEG and will allow us to continue those efforts in a more immediate and expansive manner.

The new Baton Rouge office will greatly expand the firm’s capabilities to offer public relations, issues management and marketing services to its growing portfolio of clients including Fortune 500 corporations, national and regional institutions, and public entities, each of them leaders in their respective industries.

We’re excited for the next chapter of our company as we continue to grow.

Marc Ehrhardt
The Ehrhardt Group