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THB #45: Where The Streamers Are - Dec 2021
I am forever amazed when good reporters get worked by really good corporate publicists. It’s not unlike the disconnect in how things are measured in the current mid-paradigm-shift versus how they were measured by legacy media of just a few years ago… the rules have changed, but many of us are still living by the old rules. Not long ago, access meant getting some truth out of an executive as “payment” for being published. But the balance now leans heavily to the power, not the journalist, as so much of the media is happy to play along.
Anyway… this is a digression, albeit the reason for this newsletter right now.
Really simple… where do the streamers stand as of each company’s last quarterly reporting?
You can really see how the marker breaks into 3 groups
THE HARD CHARGERS
Netflix | Oct 19 | 214m | up 18m | ARPU $11.68
Disney+ | Oct 2 | 118.1m | up 44.4m | ARPU $4.12
Hulu | Oct 2 | 43.8M | up 7.2m | ARPU est $12.75
HBO Max | October | 69.4m | up 12.5m| ARPU (dom only) $11.82
THE STILL WADING
Paramount+/Showtime OTT | Nov | 47m | up n/a | ARPU $11.66
Peacock | various | 50m free/12m paid | not available | not available
Discovery+ | Nov | 20m | 1/20 launch | apprx $6
THE BIG DOGS WITH SIDE BUSINESSES
Amazon Prime | unreported | 200m subs/ ? active | n/a | ARPU n/a
AppleTV+ | 20 million subs… we think… maybe… ???
The reason Paramount+/Showtime isn’t in the hard charging list is that there is a lot gamesmanship with the numbers they publish. Showtime generates the higher revenues, but Paramount+ has more subs… they really are separate businesses currently, but not reported as such.
You can see how Hulu is generating as much cash as Disney+ with a third of the subscribers. This is where Disney needs to clean things up.
HBO Max isn’t in a bad place, based on these numbers. But they still haven’t doubled the subscriber base that HBO had pre-MAX, even though the average price for consumers has dropped significantly. Just launching Max for $15 a month should have gotten them to where they are now… without so much spending on content, including the billions thrown at the service by Kilar’s Folly (pushing all the Warners movies to HBO Max, day and date. (How do people keep saying this was a success when the company is stopping the practice? If it worked, wouldn’t they have continued it?)
Anyway… this is the simple chart of where things are.