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Category: Subscriptions

The House of Mouse Is Considering Its Own Kind of ‘Disney Prime’ Membership

Disney is reportedly digging deep into an idea for its own kind of exclusive membership program according to the WSJ.

The first step will apparently include in-app commerce for the Disney+ streaming service, allowing users to buy merch by scanning QR codes while using the app, which link to the online Disney store.

Since Disney has its hands on so much of the most popular franchises around, the media giant is considering how it can leverage that to incentivize more people to sign up to a subscription. Subscribing to Disney’s new service could allow you cheaper tickets for their theme parks, cruises, or toys.

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US SVOD revenues set to plateau from 2024

The world’s most mature SVOD market, the US, is set to show very much signs of its maturity with revenue growth to be almost flat from 2024 to 2027 due to price competition and lower ARPUs from Netflix’s imminent hybrid AVOD-SVOD tier says a study from Digital TV Research.

The report also calculates that Netflix will have 63 million subscribers by 2027 – down by 4 million on 2021. Hulu, Disney+, HBO and Paramount+ will each boast 40-50 million subscribers by 2027.

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Are big SVOD hits necessary for growth?

The value of a hit show was clear when traditional live TV ruled home entertainment. It was a simple battle for eyeballs. Big audiences drove higher ad values and even higher ad revenues. In the on-demand world of SVOD, the equation is not that simple, and it is not even clear that a certified hit is necessary at all.

Yet services continue to plow huge amounts of money into creating hits for their streaming services. Amazon is reported to have spent $715 million, or $58 million per episode, for the first season of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Netflix paid $30 million an episode for the fourth season of Stranger Things, and HBO paid $20 million an episode for House of the Dragon. Why are top SVODs willing to spend so much for big titles, and are they necessary for survival?

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“Which subscription tier would you choose?”

As Netflix and Disney prepare to roll out ad-supported subscription tiers, new research from Fandom indicates a majority of paying customers plan to take a wait-and-see approach before trading down to a cheaper plan.

About 57% of the 1,000 entertainment fans in the study agreed with this statement: “I am not interested in subscribing to any subscription services that have ads.” Just 17% agreed with this one: “I am interested in paying less for an ad-supported tier if there is no free tier.” While 54% of respondents said they only pay for ad-free streaming outlets, just 8% went the other way and said they only get ad-supported ones. About 38% of people reported having a mix of both.

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Bob Chapek’s Funny Math on Streaming

Disney has a self-reported 221 million subscriptions across its streaming services. That, on paper, is more than Netflix’s 220.6 million. It’s also not the full story (If you subscribe to the Disney bundle, the company counts you as three subscribers) and, although it’s a game of semantics to impress the Street, it’s also a key reminder of how complicated the streaming races have become.

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Why Niche SVOD and FAST Will Fuel Post-Pandemic Streaming Success 

With an increasing number of streaming video on demand (SVOD) platforms entering the market, driving acceleration but furthering fragmentation, it’s now far more challenging for content owners to secure a slice of viewers’ engagement — and wallets.  

Specialized SVOD platforms and FAST offerings, especially in concert, are uniquely positioned to engage viewers with customized content, reach them at scale and unlock previously unforeseen revenue streams according to Endeavor Streaming’s Fred Santarpia.

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YouTube eyes service aggregation with planned ‘channel store’

According to the WSJ, YouTube will join the likes of Amazon, Roku and Apple in launching a ‘channel store’. The platform, which is said to have been in development for at least 18 months, would allow consumers to access streamers a la carte through the main YouTube app.

The report goes on to note that YouTube is discussing revenue splitting relationships with streaming partners, though it does not say which streamers would be signed up. It already offers streamers like HBO Max, Starz, CuriosityStream and Showtime to customers in the US via its YouTube TV vMVPD service.

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US viewers still love SVOD: spending up 16% in Q2 2022

While the headlines are full of news of slowing SVOD growth, spending continues to grow at a healthy pace.

In Q2 2022, $7.4 billion was spent on SVOD services, up 17% over Q2 2021. The growth rate is only marginally lower than last year, though significantly lower than the growth rates in 2018 and 2019, which were in the 26% range. The numbers suggest viewers have slowed adding more services, though they have not stopped. It will be interesting to see the impact of significant price rises for Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu in the year’s second half.

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