When “Barbie,” “Oppenheimer,” and even “Sound of Freedom” were cleaning up at the box office last summer, we were not alone in declaring that when it comes to the types of movies young audiences will go out to a theater to see, Hollywood needs to chase originality to find the next hit. The latest Marvel, Indiana Jones, Transformers, Jurassic World, and more all underwhelmed, while “Super Mario Bros.,” “Five Nights at Freddy’s” — even when a fresh start on previous IP — and now even “Poor Things” outperformed expectations.

It turns out young people want the same qualities in their streaming services too.

A new streaming insights survey conducted by free-streaming platform Tubi found that 74 percent of millennials and Gen Zers prefer to watch original content rather than franchises or remakes.

“Viewers are increasingly seeking fresh and innovative ideas that push the boundaries of what’s possible instead of rehashed versions of existing stories,” a white paper made available to marketers and obtained by IndieWire reads.

Of those young kids, 71 percent also want content produced by “independent and small-time creators” and want to feel like they’re directly supporting the creators by watching the film or show. A nearly equal percentage say they value diversity and representation among the creators who populate content on streaming services, and 89 percent want a library that offers a wide array of content, everything from true-crime stories to classic Hollywood films to one-season wonders.

And yet the study also says viewers primarily tune into their streamers to fuel their nostalgia. 96 percent of streaming audiences surveyed want quality nostalgic content — think “The Office” or “Friends” — they can binge endlessly on a lazy Saturday or snow day. That push and pull between a desire for new and old may sound like an “Itchy & Scratchy” focus group, but that’s kids these days.

There’s anecdotal evidence to suggest original stuff isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Netflix’s Top 10 Charts are occasionally being dominated not by Netflix originals but by movies from other studios, either recent releases people didn’t bother to see in theaters or hits that studios are now licensing out for extra cash rather than hoarding them for their own exclusive platforms. Even Amazon is getting in on the licensing game.

And Tubi’s survey shows that if audiences can’t find what they want to watch, they’re quick to cut bait and churn out. The survey says a whopping 99 percent of households now subscribe to at least one streaming service, with Americans spending on average $119.76 every month on a mix of streaming services and TV packages. With prices constantly rising for streamers, the survey says at least half of respondents are very cost-conscious and are frequently re-evaluating whether that service is worth keeping around.

The Tubi survey also pleads its case for the utility of ad-supported services and even Freemium services that are fully free and don’t offer an ad-free tier, of which Tubi is one. The survey says two-thirds of respondents use at least one ad-supported streamer regularly, and a majority would rather have their own free account than share a paid one with someone else.

Tubi’s survey was conducted between December 22, 2023, to January 5, 2024, among 2,503 adults aged 18+ in the U.S. that stream video at least one hour a week.

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