December 2, 2019
Netflix has deftly increased subscribers over the years by partnering with pay-TV operators (such as Comcast Cable) and offering direct access to its streaming video service.
The SVOD pioneer added 15 direct-access deals this year and now has access to more than 300 million pay-TV households who link (with a separate subscription) worldwide through their set-top box, according to new data from Ampere Analysis.
Netflix has more than 100 major partnership deals globally affording direct access to nearly half of all global pay-TV subs outside China.
By the end of 2018, three quarters of pay-TV subs in Western Europe had contracts with Netflix partner operators. Netflix also had penetration to 86% of domestic pay-TV subs at the end of last year.
“The increase in the number of pay-TV partnerships with Netflix marks a distinct shift in the industry, as more and more of the streaming giant’s traditional ‘enemies’ cosy up through onboarding deals,” analyst Elinor Clark said in a statement.
Notably, Clark said Netflix was able to link with all the major pay-TV operators in France, a country previously hostile to the streamer’s arrival.
Netflix still lags access to several large pay-TV operators in Central and South America, Asia Pacific and Central and Eastern Europe, though it is steadily working on increasing its reach. These markets (excluding China) play host to almost 400 million pay-TV subs, and Netflix currently has around 40 million subs in these territories, making these key target areas for the streamer to pursue.
“Of course, Netflix is not the only beneficiary,” Clark said. “These partnerships can also be lucrative for pay TV operators, providing them with an additional revenue stream when there may be downward pressure on their average revenue per user (ARPU) and, in some markets, cord-cutting.”