With the year coming to an end, consumers are gravitating towards holiday-themed movies and shows – both on linear and streaming platforms. According to Whip Media, Hallmark is the most popular linear destination for holiday content, while Netflix leads the pack among streamers in the genre.
Lifetime ranked as the second most popular traditional network for made-for-TV holiday movies. On the streaming side, Disney+ and Hulu were the second and third most appealing services to holiday movie viewers, after Netflix.
Whip Media this month surveyed over 4,500 U.S. consumers who use TV Time, the company’s tracking app for TV shows and movies. Among those respondents, roughly 3,200 identified themselves as “TV holiday movie consumers.”
Hallmark, a network that has typically leaned towards family-oriented and lifestyle programming, has recently expanded its streaming distribution to Peacock as well as Hulu’s live TV slate. Both platforms now host the Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Hallmark Drama.
The Hallmark Channel’s annual “Merry Thanksgiving Weekend” bumped up the network to be the top-watched cable network during Thanksgiving week for the tenth year in a row, Hallmark announced today. Over 10 million total viewers tuned in to watch the premiere of seven new holiday movies on the channel.
Hallmark continues to release holiday programming as part of its months-long “Countdown to Christmas” franchise.
As for Netflix, a number of holiday-centric original titles are coming to the service in December, including “Falling for Christmas,” “The Claus Family 2” and the animated movie “Scrooge: A Christmas Carol.”
The stream of new releases is indicative of consumers’ appetite for holiday content, Whip Media found. More than half (54%) of respondents said they will prioritize watching holiday content to some degree this season.
Viewers are more likely to watch titles that are highly advertised. About half of consumers (52%) said they found new holiday movies through ads or trailers, followed by recommendations from a streaming service or device (51%). Social media (47%) was also flagged as a key medium for figuring out what to watch.
Content providers have doubled down on improving their platform’s discovery features. In this month alone, Verizon unveiled a new Fios TV streaming device with enhanced content aggregation features. And YouTube debuted its first-ever streaming services aggregator – Primetime Channels.
Although content providers are releasing a slew of fresh holiday titles, Whip Media’s study suggested consumers aren’t in a hurry to catch every new release. Only 23% of respondents said they watch holiday movies within the first week of their release. Slightly over half (55%) of consumers said they typically watch new titles “when they get around to it.”