THE PRICE POINT

Forget Subscribers. Now It’s All About Advertising

The recent upfronts saw networks turning on a dime from their obsession with acquiring subscribers for their streamers to their former adoration of advertising. Whether there’s enough ad revenue to support this industry-wide pivot is another story.

QUARTERLY REPORT

HBO Max/HBO Gain 3 Million Subscribers In 1Q

AT&T, in its Wall Street swan song as an entertainment entity, reported solid subscriber pickup for HBO Max and HBO for the first quarter of 2022 on Thursday. The now-divested WarnerMedia unit was again a drag on profitability because of continued investments in HBO Max and the launch of CNN+ — reflecting a key reason AT&T spun it off.

Streaming Services Take A Hit As Inflation Forces Brits To Choose

Britons are abandoning streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ to save money as they suffer the biggest cut to their disposable incomes since the 1950s. Streaming services boomed during the pandemic as people were forced to spend more time at home. With lockdown restrictions lifted, Britons canceled about 1.5 million subscriptions in the first three months of 2022, up by around 500,000 from the previous quarter. More than a third did so to save money, according to a new report by media consultancy Kantar.

Analyst Sees Netflix Adding More Subs Than Expected

Despite price increases and trouble in Russia putting pressure on Netflix’s first quarter subscriber count, analyst Steven Cahall of Wells Fargo has raised his estimate for how many customers Netflix will add when it reports its vital statistics on Tuesday. Based on data on downloads, monthly active users and daily active users, Cahall expects Netflix to add more than 2.9 million subscribers in the quarter, up from his previous estimate of 2.5 million.

FuboTV Ends 2021 With Over 1.1M Paid Subscribers

YouTube TV Had Slowest Growth Quarter Since 2018: Analyst

Google didn’t provide a new subscriber total for YouTube TV in the first quarter but one analyst estimate suggests that it was the slowest period for the virtual MVPD in years. According to MoffettNathanson’s latest Cord Cutting Monitor, YouTube TV added 75,000 subscribers during the first quarter. It’s higher than the 43,000 net adds reported by fuboTV and much better than Hulu + Live TV’s 200,000 and Sling TV’s 100,000 net losses. But, according to the analyst firm’s chart tracking YouTube TV’s growth back to the first quarter of 2017, it’s the slowest growth quarter for the vMVPD since the third quarter of 2018.

HBO Max Wins Biggest Share Of New 4Q Streaming Subscribers

AT&T’s HBO Max, which got off to a sputtering start, drew the largest share of new streaming subscribers in the fourth quarter, according to Kantar’s Entertainment on Demand Service. Kantar estimates that the number of SVOD subscriptions reached 233 million by the end of December, with the average home having 3.5 streaming video subscriptions, up from 3.1 at the start of 2020.

YouTube TV Surpasses 3 Million Paid Subscribers

The video platform’s virtual pay TV service, YouTube TV, has surpassed the 3 million paid subscriber mark. This revelation comes just seven months after Google announced the passing of the 2 million mark for the vMVPD service. That’s an indicator of accelerated growth, as that February 2 million announcement came a full two years after the platform launched.

Pay TV To Lose Most Subs Ever In Single Year

Even though TV watching has been up in 2020, when it comes to pay TV subscriptions the numbers are historic in the wrong kind of way. According to a report from eMarketer, cable, satellite and telecom TV providers are on pace to lose the most subscribers ever in a single year in 2020. By the end of the year, eMarketer is projecting that 31.2 million U.S. households will have cut the cable cord in aggregate. In addition, 6.6 million households are expected to cancel their pay TV subscriptions. Projecting down the road, eMarketer estimates that a third of U.S. households will have cut the pay TV cord by 2024.

Netflix Tops 10M Subscribers In Latest Quarter, Besting Forecast

Netflix also cautioned that the pandemic-fueled production shutdowns will begin to hit the company in 2021, with “a more second half weighted content slate in terms of our big titles.”

Major Pay TV Providers Lost 1.53M Subs In 2Q

Cord cutting accelerated to record speed in the second quarter, with the major U.S. pay TV operators reporting an all-time-worst loss of 1.53 million subscribers during the period.

Netflix Tops Expectations, Adds 7.4M 1Q Subs

The streaming gian’ts growth in the first quarter was due mostly to its expasion into foreign markets.

WaPo Offers Exclusive Benefits To Keep Subs

The Washington Post now has about 25 people working on retention as it seeks to grow its digital subscriptions, now at 1 million.

Traditional Pay TV Loses Big, Digital Growing

Big traditional pay TV providers lost 3.7% or 3 million subscribers in 2017 — one of the worst years ever, according to one report. But other research says that new, rising virtual pay TV services have softened the blow.

Pay TV Lost 845,000 Linear Subs in 4Q

U.S. cable, satellite and IPTV operators lost a combined 845,000 video subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2017, analyst Vijay Jayant estimated in a note to investors.

Hulu Reaches 17 Million U.S. Subscribers

At the start of a busy CES as well as a transformative period when Disney moves to take majority control of the company, Hulu today announced that it ended fiscal 2017 with more than 17 million total subscribers in the U.S. The figure, which includes all SVOD and live TV plans, represents an increase of more than 40% — or 5 million — since Hulu last reported subscriber numbers in the spring of 2016.

Why Pay-TV Bills Are Rising Again

Over the past decade, prices for TV service have risen almost twice as fast as inflation, according to an analysis of government data. Data provider S&P Global Market Intelligence says customers’ cable and satellite TV bills have soared 53% since 2007, to $100.98 in 2017.

Sling TV Gains Help Dish Ride Out Maria

Dish Network lost fewer-than-expected subscribers in the third quarter as its internet-based service Sling TV attracted more customers, offsetting a temporary hit from Hurricane Maria.

AT&T Explains Continuing MVPD Sub Losses

In the last 10 quarters, or 30 months, U-verse has lost 2.254 million net video subscribers. AT&T had indicated that it was converting U-verse customers to its DBS service, which has far lower wholesale programming costs, though it has also moved some U-verse subscribers to the DirecTV Now service as well.

CBS: All Access Subs Up 200% Since ‘Star Trek’

Four Big Trends Affecting The Media Industry

The second-quarter earnings season of 2017 has wound down for media companies and broadcasters. Here’s a roundup of the developments that highlighted the reports: OTT, retrans, subscriber losses and ad revenues under pressure.

Pay TV Loses Over 940,000 Subs In 2Q

New data from MoffettNathanson shows traditional pay TV subscriber erosion worsened in the just-completed second quarter, rising from 2.5% in 1Q to 2.7%, “the fastest rate of decline on record.” The “Cord-Cutting Monitor” study goes on to note that the second quarter “is always the year’s worst quarter — and with so many new virtual […]

RETRANS

Analyst: Dish Wars Lowered Subs By 7.5%

Punctuated by the loss of 281,000 customers in the second quarter, Dish Network’s steady stream of retrans battles and carriage wars has resulted in the loss of 7.5% of its subscriber base in just one year.

Comcast’s Internet Subs Now Exceed Cable

Comcast has more Internet subscribers than it does for cable for the first time, the company said in an earnings call today. As of March, the company had 22.4 million broadband customers.