Weekly News Round Up: UK Streaming Viewing Doubled In 2020, Netflix Now Top All Pay-TV Providers.
Film Industry News Weekly Digest, Sunday August 8th
UK Streaming Viewing Doubled In 2020, Netflix Subs Now Top All Pay-TV Providers Combined –
The average person was sat glued to the box (or laptop) for five hours and 40 minutes per day in 2020, 47 minutes more than the previous year. The majority of that growth was accounted for by streamers, with people spending twice as much time watching online platforms (one hour and five minutes per day) and overall subs climbing 50% to 31 million. In total, three in every five UK homes are now signed up to a streamer, according to the Ofcom figures.
Netflix in particular saw stellar growth in front of lockdown eyeballs. More than half of UK households now have a Netflix sub, which means its customer base (52%) exceeds all pay-TV providers combined for the first time (48%). Revenues across the main streaming services was estimated to be £2.11BN during 2020, a 28% increase and more than double the 2017 figure. Moving into this year, the report said 29 of the 30 most-watched titles on subscription services in Q1, 2021, were on Netflix.
Peacock Reaches 54 Million Sign-Ups, Set to Begin International Rollout on Sky Platform
NBCUniversal’s Peacock streamer will begin its international rollout this year as a free addition on Sky’s satellite TV platform in Europe, giving it a base of 20 million households. Peacock has reached 54 million total signups since its debut in April 2020. It generated more than 20 million monthly active users for the quarter.
Sky sees Q2 subscribers fall, but revenues still climb
Revenue at Sky increased 28.0% to $5.2 billion as direct-to-consumer revenue, advertising revenue and content revenue all grew. Direct-to-consumer revenue increased 7.7% to $4.2 billion, primarily driven by higher average revenue per customer relationship after the cancellation of many sports events in 2020.
Advertising revenue increased 78.8% to $643 million as a recovery in the advertising market after Covid-19 combined with an increase in sports events. There was also higher wholesale revenue from sports programming. However, subscriber numbers fell again to 23,002,000 dipping from 23,198,000 12 months ago.
Pluto TV Reaches $1 Billion Annual Revenue Milestone A Year Ahead Of Schedule
Pluto TV’s free, ad-supported offering is now available in 25 countries around the world and has 52 million active users each month, per the latest stats today from ViacomCBS. It was the leading contributor to a 102% year-over-year surge in overall streaming revenue at the company during the quarter...The U.S. version now has 200,000 hours of programming available, a level that has doubled in the past year.
As with subscription sibling Paramount+, live sports and news are foundational elements of Pluto and have helped it increase average view time by 45%.
Roku Q2 Results Keep Climbing, But Streaming Hours Dip And Active Account Growth Moderates
Platform revenue, a comprehensive category that includes advertising, jumped 117% to $532 million, reflecting momentum in the burgeoning streaming ad arena. The arrival of new ad-supported players, among them Peacock, Discovery+ and HBO Max with Ads, has boosted results from the ad realm.
Progress in overall streaming and active accounts proved less than inspiring to many investors. Active accounts increased by 55.1 million, an increase of 1.5 million from the first quarter but a more modest gain than in recent quarters. Streaming hours totaled 17.4 billion hours, a decrease of 1 billion hours from the first quarter.
Discovery+ now at 18 million subscribers; delays to international rollout
The Discovery+ streaming service reached 17 million homes globally at the end of the second quarter, David M. Zaslav, President and chief executive officer, has confirmed. The launch helped the broadcaster increase its ‘next generation’ revenues by 130% in the second quarter. Subsequently, interest in the Olympics in Europe has pushed uptake to 18 million subscribers. Later this year Discovery+ will launch in Brazil, Canada and the Philippines, alongside additional Vodafone markets in Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.
Ad-Supported SVOD Tiers Gaining Popularity
new data from Hub Research’s annual “Monetization of Video” study suggests that tiered platforms – where viewers can choose between a paid, ad-free option and a less expensive (or free), ad-supported option – appeal to the largest cross-section of viewers.
“It’s true that some TV viewers will do almost anything, including paying a premium, to avoid ads. But there are many who will choose ad-supported TV if it saves money or lets them watch a show they can’t watch somewhere else,” Jon Giegengack, one of the study’s authors said in a statement. “Tiered plans give viewers control of their experience. Whether they watch with ads or not, everyone is getting an experience they chose, and not one chosen for them.
ViacomCBS Is Hurting Paramount+ By Licensing Its Content Elsewhere
ViacomCBS receives hundreds of millions of dollars for licensing content out to rival streaming services, but it puts a ceiling on Paramount+’s ability to seriously compete in the increasingly competitive SVOD space.
If all these series were reclaimed by ViacomCBS and made exclusively available on Paramount+, the embryonic streamer would have a more formidable library. By lacking exclusive rights to nearly half of the in-demand content on its platform, while struggling to grow its original library and find a break out hit, Paramount+ is losing out on potential subscriber growth and retention, despite the high demand for ViacomCBS content overall.
Big Tech’s Advertising Boom Puts Pressure on Subscriber-Focused Services
As spending in linear TV has decreased in response to the decline in viewership, advertisers have turned to platforms like YouTube to better reach users. The video streaming platform, led by CEO Susan Wojcicki, brought in more than $7 billion in ad revenue during the second quarter — an 84 percent increase compared to the previous year’s quarter. Google advertising, meanwhile, rebounded from the pandemic and boasted $50.4 billion in revenue, representing a nearly 69 percent increase year-over-year.
Many of Netflix’s competitors like HBO Max, Paramount+, Peacock and Hulu are already in the ad-supported streaming business with cheaper subscription tiers that include ads. Whether Netflix will follow suit and explore advertising remains to be seen, but the pressure may be on as competitors — both in and out of the streaming space — begin to outperform, thanks largely to ad revenue.
WarnerMedia to delay HBO Max roll-out in Europe
Pascal Desroches, WarnerMedia’s CFO, revealed that “to lean into HBO Max’s fast start in Latin America, we may push back our launch in some European markets until early 2022.” The company had said in March that it was aiming to roll out HBO Max to 60 countries by the end of 2021, including 21 in Europe.