Exclusivity in the Video Streaming Market

Yihao Yuan, PhD Candidate, The Wharton School

Abstract: The main goal of this project is to enhance our understanding of the role that exclusive contracts play in shaping market structure, consumer demand, and innovation. The effect of exclusivity on consumer welfare is ambiguous. On one hand, exclusivity helps streaming platforms to differentiate from each other, which softens competition, increases subscription prices, and forces consumers to multi-home. On the other hand, exclusivity may incentivize studios and platforms to create more content by increasing their investment returns. In this study, I will develop a structural model and use data-driven methods to quantify the effects of exclusivity on all three stakeholders in this market—consumers, streaming platforms, and studios.