Report: Disney+ Hotstar to Top 46 Million Subs by End of Year

Disney ended its most-recent fiscal period with 103 million Disney+ subscribers. Of that total, 33% originate from India as a result of Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox, whose assets included the Hotstar streaming service, which features localized content and live cricket matches.

Now, new data from Media Partners Asia projects the Disney+ Hotstar platform will generate 46 million subs by the end of the year. Together with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, the three platforms will total 89 million combined subs, or 80% of the Indian market. That compares with 57 million subs at the end of 2020.

MPA’s The Future of India’s Online Video Market: Focus on SVOD projects there will be 193 million subscription streaming video subs in India by 2026 — a small percentage considering the country is the second most populous with more than 1.3 billion residents.

The report brief suggests Indian SVOD revenue will top $1.8 billion by 2026, with ad-supported VOD totalling $2.4 billion in revenue.

India has a big mobile consumer base, topping 500 million handsets, with more than 1 billion video screens. Netflix, which launched Indian service in 2016, recently bowed a mobile-only subscription plan in the region. The SVOD pioneer reportedly trails Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar in subscribers.

Nielsen: Amazon’s ‘The Tomorrow War,’ Netflix’s ‘Manifest’ Top Weekly At-Home Streaming Through July 4

Licensed Netflix series “Manifest” continued its strong run on the SVOD pioneer, generating 1.86 billion minutes of streaming minutes across 29 episodes on Nielsen’s streaming tracking chart the week ended July 4. The former NBC TV primetime series has ranked atop the Nielsen SVOD chart for three consecutive weeks.

Amazon Prime Video’s The Tomorrow War, starring  Chris Pratt (Jurassic World) topped weekly streamed movies with 1.23 billion minutes. The Paramount Pictures movie was licensed to Prime Video when Paramount concluded a box office release in the current pandemic market was untenable.

Finally, four episodes of Disney+ original series “Loki” topped the last season of Amazon’s first original series “Bosch,” with 813 million minutes across four episodes, compared with 490 million minutes across 64 episodes.

Persons 2+ Total Minutes Viewed – Week of June 28 – July 4, 2021
Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.

 

Original Movies:

Rank

SVOD Provider

Program Name

Number

Minutes Streamed
(Millions)

1 AMAZON THE TOMORROW WAR 1 1,229
2 DISNEY+ LUCA (2021) 1 1,156
3 NETFLIX THE ICE ROAD (2021) 1 553
4 NETFLIX FATHERHOOD (2021) 1 358
5 DISNEY+ RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON 1 324
6 NETFLIX FEAR STREET PART ONE: 1994 1 248
7 NETFLIX WISH DRAGON (2021) 1 204
8 NETFLIX GOOD ON PAPER (2021) 1 190
9 DISNEY+ MOANA 1 131
10 NETFLIX HOME (2015) 1 114

Original Series:

Rank

SVOD Provider

Program Name

Number of Episodes

Minutes Streamed
(Millions)

1 DISNEY+ LOKI 4 813
2 AMAZON BOSCH 64 490
3 NETFLIX LUCIFER 83 450
4 NETFLIX SEX/LIFE 8 449
5 NETFLIX TOO HOT TO HANDLE 19 395
6 NETFLIX SWEET TOOTH 8 256
7 NETFLIX THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS 75 255
8 NETFLIX WORKIN’ MOMS 57 247
9 HULU THE HANDMAID’S TALE 46 209
10 NETFLIX SOPHIE: A MURDER IN WEST 3 206

‘American Experience: Tesla’ Headlines Titles Coming to PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel in August

American Experience: Tesla, The Botany of Desire and Doc World: Cocaine Prison headline the titles coming to the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel in August.

The subscription rate for the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Due Aug. 6 is American Experience: Tesla. The documentary chronicles the life and influence of Nikola Tesla, dubbed the “patron saint of geeks.” Tesla has had electric cars, rock bands, a unit of measurement, a minor planet, and a lunar crater named after him. Still eclipsed however by contemporaries such as Edison and Marconi, Tesla, the visionary scientist died impoverished and largely forgotten. During his lifetime, he gained international fame for his invention of a system of alternating current that made possible the distribution of electricity over vast distances and is the basis for the electrical grid that powers 21st century life. But the visionary Tesla imagined much more — robots, radio, radar, remote control, the wireless transmission of messages and pictures, and harnessing the wind and sun to provide free energy to all. As a showman, he dazzled his scientific peers who flocked to see him demonstrate his inventions and send thousands of volts of electricity pulsing through his body. His fertile, yet undisciplined imagination was the source of his genius and also his downfall, as the image of Tesla as a “mad scientist” came to overshadow his reputation as a brilliant innovator. It is his exhilarating sense of the future that has inspired renewed interest in the man, as his once scoffed-at vision of a world connected by wireless technology has become a reality.

Doc World: Cocaine Prison, coming Aug. 15, follows the lives of three Bolivians who work at the lowest levels of the cocaine trade: two prison inmates who film their daily experiences and an inmate’s sister who must decide whether to traffic cocaine or pursue a college education. The film bridges the ever-widening gap between the North and the South and brings a new perspective to the war on drugs being waged in the Andes.

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The Botany of Desire

Based on Michael Pollan’s best-selling book, The Botany of Desire, brought to life through narration by Frances McDormand, is coming Aug. 27. The film focuses on four species of plants that we’ve all interacted with and details how humans have completely shaped these plants’ evolutions and destinies. The documentary takes viewers on an eye-opening exploration of the human relationship with the plant world — seen from the plants’ point of view. The program shows how four familiar species ─ the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato ─ evolved to satisfy our yearnings for sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control. The Botany of Desire shows how human desires are an essential, intricate part of natural history. It begins in Michael Pollan’s garden, and then roams the world from the corn fields of Iowa to the apple forests of Kazakhstan, from a medical marijuana hot house to the tulip markets of Amsterdam. One of the great conceits of human civilization is to put ourselves outside nature — constantly shaping and re-shaping the wild for our own purposes. Taking the plants’ view of the world pushes viewers to understand Pollan’s call to restore human activity to its proper place in the matrix of nature.

Data: U.S. Q2 SVOD Growth Cools, Except For Amazon Prime Video

With Netflix set to release second-quarter financials July 20, research firm Kantar suggests the fiscal period will be a wake-up call to U.S. subscription streaming video services when it comes to domestic growth.

Citing in-house data, London-based Kantar contends that a pandemic-related home confinement restrictions end, there has been a significant drop in the number of U.S. households taking out a new SVOD subscription in the past three months — down to 3.9% in Q2 2021 from 12.9% Q2 2020.

“This is the smallest growth in new subscribers we have recorded,” Jennifer Chan, consumer insight director at Kantar, wrote in a post.

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Among U.S. streaming platforms, Amazon Prime Video regained the top spot for new subscribers for the first time since Q3 2020. Prime Video gained market penetration, up three points to 58%, and ranked No. 1 in terms of new subscribers.

Kantar said Amazon is gaining subs through owned touchpoints such as offering a free trial and consumers visiting Amazon.com. Prime Video is currently among the highest for converted free trials at 31%, beaten only by Apple TV+ at 37%. Both factors indicate that Prime Video is still benefiting from the increase in Amazon Prime subscriptions taken out during lockdown.

Discovery’s branded SVOD platform, Discovery+, moved to No. 2 in terms of new subscribers, in just its second full quarter of operation. In Q2, Discovery+ generated one in 10 new SVOD subscribers according to the report.

The growth, combined with Prime Video, contributed to Netflix installed base declining to two-thirds of all U.S. subscribers — the behemoth’s lowest homeland penetration ever as streamer juggle increased competition. Meanwhile, the proportion of U.S. households who have a video subscription has remained consistent at 74.6%, meaning there are now 95.8 million households with subscriptions, as of June 2021.

Kantar said Disney+ series “WandaVision” was the top-rated title for the second quarter in a row, with Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” No. 2 and “Mare of Easttown” on HBO Max in third place.

Amazon Upping Pressure on Netflix

As well as gaining new subscribers, Prime Video’s average stacking of subscriptions increased from 2.6 to 2.8 year-over-year, compared with the market average of 3.1 to 3.8. This means there is less competition for viewership time and indicates that subscribers are getting what they need from fewer services.

When examining the reasons for satisfaction, the reports suggests Prime Video scores higher than the total market for touchpoints such as ease of use (48% vs 44%), the amount of original content (44% vs 41%) and value for money (44% vs 41%).

Over the past year, despite new entrants to the market such as HBO Max, Discovery+ and NBCUniversal’s Peacock, Amazon’s content acquisition has remained strong. This reflects the caliber of original content such as “The Boys” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Kantar made no mention of Amazon’s $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM Studios.

“As people return to bricks and mortar stores, it will be interesting to see whether Prime Video’s original content can carry them through and prevent subscribers from canceling their Prime subscription,” Chan wrote.

Finally, Netflix’s share of SVOD-enabled U.S. households is at its lowest, down to 67%, from 74% in Q2 2020, and similarly its share of new subs hit 6% this quarter, down from 13% a year ago. Although the market share outranks the competition, the saturation of SVOD services may be resulting in Netflix subs trading the service in for a newer model, according to Kantar.

Whereas Disney+, Hulu and HBO Max take the top spots for content this quarter, Netflix comes in fourth and fifth position with “The Crown” and “Lucifer.”

“This is the first time they have missed out on a top three spot for content enjoyed for at least the past five quarters,” Chan wrote.

Indeed, Netflix went from having the lowest stacked subscriptions of the main services at 2.5 last year to three, meaning that Prime Video now has a lower average. This is another indication of Amazon managing to navigate the new landscape. In addition, the most common stacks for Netflix subs are Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu.

The report found that the cost of SVOD service stacking can quickly add up and Netflix subs cited saving money as the top reason (31%) for canceling service.

Interestingly, Netflix has the highest proportion of subscribers who say that someone else pays (27.4%), compared with Disney+ (26.3%) and Hulu (23.1%), suggesting a lot of account sharing is taking place.

Perhaps media attention around Netflix clamping down on account sharing has cast the streamer in a negative light among some subscribers. This may explain why Netflix received its lowest NPS score over the last five quarters with a score of 37, according to Kantar.

Stacked Subscriptions Continue to Climb

With three-quarters of U.S. households now accessing SVOD services, growth is slowing as subs now seek content rather than standalone gateways to streaming. In addition, with the rise in ad-supported VOD platforms, price sensitive consumers now have more options to drive down subscription costs.

HBO Max is launching an ad-supported option this month. For those stacking multiple subscriptions, $9.99 for HBO’s ad-free version is more attractive to a subscriber already paying $30 to $40 a month for SVOD, than Max’s $14.99 ad-free offer.

“If the content is there and the interface is good, consumers are still satisfied with ad-supported services,” Chan wrote.

BritBox International Names Diederick Santer as First Chief Creative Officer

BritBox International, the ITV and BBC Studios joint venture, July 13 announced that Diederick Santer has been appointed to the new role of BritBox International Chief Creative Officer.

Diederick will join BritBox in September and will oversee all aspects of programming on the SVOD service globally, including commissioning and acquisition across all genres and for all markets outside of the U.K.

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Formerly CEO of Kudos, a global television production company, Diederick oversaw programs such as the International Emmy Awards-winning “Man in an Orange Shirt,” Channel 4 and AMC returner “Humans,” International Emmy-nominated “Apple Tree Yard,” “Gunpowder” for BBC One, BBC Two’s “The Boy With The Topknot,” and the Sky Atlantic hit, “Tin Star.”

He began his TV career in 1996 at ITV, joining the BBC in 2000 and became Executive Producer of “EastEnders” in 2006. He has recently worked in BBC Drama Commissioning overseeing a number of their 2021 titles, and previously set up his own production company, Lovely Day, a label within Kudos, which produced the popular crime series “Grantchester.”

Diederick will be part of the BritBox International leadership team, working under BritBox International CEO Reemah Sakaan. His role will include building production and distribution relationships with the U.K. creative sector to secure a future pipeline of shows to accelerate BritBox’s international growth in the SVOD world as part of its planned roll-out to multiple countries worldwide.

“Diederick is a critical new appointment for us as we drive the scale and editorial ambition of BritBox,” Sakaan said in a statement. “His unrivalled relationships, experience, and superb taste make him perfectly positioned to create and curate the best of British programming for fans around the world.”

BritBox key competitors include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and Disney+. The ad-free SVOD streaming service first launched in March 2017 in the U.S. as competition to AMC Networks’ Acorn TV, and earlier in the year surpassed 2 million global subscriptions. Since 2017, it has launched in Canada, the U.K., Australia and is due to launch in South Africa this summer.

Building upon this expansion, BritBox will seek to broaden its global footprint across multiple territories. The platform boasts the largest collection of British TV boxsets and has stepped up its Originals strategy, recently announcing “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?,” “Murder in Provence,” “Sanditon Series 2” and “Marlow.”

Amazon Prime Video and IMDb TV Join New Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Pay 1 Window

Universal Pictures continues to turn movie distribution on its ear. Just days after its Pay 1 distribution deal with NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) announced multi-year license agreements with Amazon Prime Video and its ad-supported sister platform, IMDb TV.

Under the agreement, Prime Video will have an exclusive Pay 1 window for UFEG’s slate of live-action films in the United States, starting with the 2022 release slate, and will also receive rights to a package of UFEG’s library movies. IMDb TV gets exclusive network-window rights for films from UFEG’s 2020-21 theatrical slate and rights to a package of animated titles.

Starting in 2022, UFEG’s new live-action films will first become available on Peacock after their theatrical releases, before landing exclusively on Prime Video four months later, with titles to include the highly anticipated Jurassic World: DominionThe 355 and Ambulance.

Prime Video will also gain SVOD rights to UFEG’s theatrical slate of animated movies through a subsequent window, including highly anticipated 2022 theatrical titles such as Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru and DreamWorks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and The Bad Guys. Several iconic titles including the “Jurassic Park” franchise, “Bourne” franchise, Love Actually, Get Out and the “Fast & Furious” franchise will also become available to Prime members.

“We know Prime members love movies, and this new deal with UFEG will deliver some of the best films available for our customers,” Brad Beale, VP of worldwide content licensing at Prime Video, said in a statement. “This new slate of UFEG films, including exciting upcoming releases such as Jurassic World: DominionThe 355 and Ambulance will continue to build upon Prime Video’s catalog and delight Prime members, all at no additional cost to their membership.”

“Recognizing that all parties would benefit from a modernized windowing structure, this new agreement allows Prime Video and IMDb TV to benefit from UFEG’s vast library and diverse content like never before,” said Peter Levinsohn, vice chairman and chief distribution officer of UFEG. “We’re thrilled to team up with Amazon to deliver our titles to its customers. This agreement further delivers on our distribution strategy to monetize our unparalleled movie library across multiple services, while offering customers the most choice, control and flexibility in how, when and where they watch films.”

IMDb TV will obtain an additional window to stream UFEG’s 2020-21 slate of theatrical releases, featuring titles such as DolittleThe Invisible ManF9 (Fast & Furious 9) and Sing 2, with full exclusivity across AVOD and SVOD, during the license period. In addition, IMDb TV will also have access to select titles in UFEG’s animation library, including Illumination’s Despicable Me 2 and DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2, and Shrek 2.

“This significant deal with UFEG is another step forward in solidifying IMDb TV’s reputation as a premium free destination for blockbuster movies,” said Lauren Anderson and Ryan Pirozzi, co-heads of content and programming at IMDb TV. “Expanding our library with prominent UFEG titles from every genre, IMDb TV continues to deliver on our promise to provide viewers the content they crave with something for everyone.”

Amazon Prime Video Streaming Japanese Anime Movie ‘Evangelion:3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time’ Aug. 13

Amazon Prime Video Aug. 13 is streaming the global premiere (outside of Japan) of Japanese anime movie Evangelion:3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time. The movie is the fourth and final chapter in the theatrical franchise that has been the most-watched movie in Japan in 2021.

To celebrate the finale of the franchise, Prime Video will also release the three previous movies, Evangelion:1.11 You Are (Not) Alone, Evangelion:2.22 You Can (Not) Advance, Evangelion:3.33 You Can (Not) Redo in more than 240 countries and territories.

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The franchise is based on the story of Evangelion, an artificial human and multipurpose humanoid weapon, and the Angels, an unknown life-form which takes place after the Earth has been shattered by a cataclysmic event.

The movies will be dubbed in 10 languages including English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian, and offer subtitles in 28 languages.

“The Evangelion films have been thrilling Japanese fans for years and we know that there is a huge appetite around the world for the finale,” Brad Beale, VP, worldwide content licensing Prime Video, said in a statement.

Episodes of ‘Arthur,’ ‘Hero Elementary’ and ‘Wild Kratts’ Headed to PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in July

PBS Distribution will be adding new volumes of “Arthur” and “Hero Elementary,” along with a “Wild Kratts” special, to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in July.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Due July 2 is Arthur Vol. 24. In one episode, George creates a piece of art for the country-wide art show with the help of guest artist, Kevin Sampson. Also, Arthur must learn how to control his temper after getting angry over a pair of sneakers in “George Scraps His Sculpture/Arthur’s Big Meltdown.” Then, in “The Great MacGrady,” Arthur and his friends find out that Mrs. MacGrady is diagnosed with cancer. The kids must learn how to come together to support each other.

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Starting to stream July 16 is Hero Elementary Vol. 8. In the two-part “Heroes in Space,” Sara is excited to celebrate the full moon viewing with her pals, but they notice that half the moon seems to be gone. Sparks’ Crew flies to the moon to investigate where the other half went. In “Squeak to Me/Team’s Song Theme Song,” Sparks’ Crew wants to make their own theme song. Then, when Sparks’ Crew is looking for their classmates in “Search and Rescue/Secret Lives of Teachers,” the kids are shocked to see their teacher on the weekend outside of school. What happens when a toy train display featuring a model replica of City Town is ruined is explored in “Back on Track/Switcheroo-er.”

Coming July 13 is Wild Kratts: Cats and Dogs. In the special, while on the African savanna, Chris Kratt and Martin Kratt observe lots of wild cats and dogs interacting with each other. Soon, Wild Kratts kids are calling in from all over to ask about these wild animals and whether they’re like their own pets. Zach, who has been secretly listening to all the questions, comes up with a scheme to capture and sell these creatures as “special” pets. The brothers, plus Aviva, Koki, and Jimmy, race to save the wild cats and dogs and protect them so they can live free and in the wild.

Also coming to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in July are Let’s Go Luna Vol. 8 and Nature Cat: Ocean Commotion.

Amazon Prime Video Adds International Soccer Rights

Amazon Prime Video, unlike rival Netflix, has not shied away from streaming live sports — and is willing to pay big money for the rights.

Prime Video has secured rights to stream upwards of eight weekly Ligue 1 professional soccer matches in France. The 302-match, three-year carriage deal with Ligue de Football Professionnel will cost Amazon $302 million and represents about 80% of all professional soccer available in France.

“Ligue 1 is the country’s most-watched domestic football competition, and we’re incredibly happy to bring every club and the most thrilling matches to Prime Video each week for the next three seasons,” Alex Green, managing director of Prime Video Sport Europe, said in a statement.

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Amazon, which also streams live Premier League soccer in the United Kingdom, and is the official video streaming partner of MLS’s Seattle Sounders FC, recently secured exclusive rights to NFL Thursday Night Football for the next 11 years, in a deal worth about $1 billion annually to the NFL.

Prime Video is also bidding on exclusive TV rights to Italy’s Serie A professional league. The deal for three years could cost the SVOD platform upwards of $1.4 billion, and would up the competitive ante with Comcast’s Sky, which is the current rights holder.

Soccer isn’t just big with Amazon. In March, CBS Sports and Lega Serie A announced details of a multi-platform agreement for exclusive U.S. rights to the Serie A Championship, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana professional soccer events.

Paramount+ has made the sport a focal point of its platform, streaming more than a thousand live matches each year across an extensive portfolio of properties, including UEFA club competitions, NWSL, Concacaf Men’s World Cup Qualifiers, Liga Profesional de Fútbol, and Serie A.

Nielsen: Canceled Netflix Series ‘Jupiter’s Legacy’ Dominated Weekly TV Streaming — A Month Ago

What a difference a month makes. Netflix’s recently canceled superhero fantasy comic book adaptation “Jupiter’s Legacy” dominated streaming across household televisions the week ended May 16, according to new data from Nielsen.

The series starring Josh Duhamel generated more than one billion minutes streamed across eight episodes, to double up No. 2 “Start-Up,” a 31-episode series licensed by Netflix, which generated 760 million minutes.

The top-streamed original movie was Netflix’s 21st Century take on Hitchcock’s masterpiece Rear Window, titled Woman in the Window, starring Amy Adams. The movie tracked 500 million minutes in its first week of release.

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Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.

 

Movies:

 

Rank

SVOD Provider

Program Name

Number

Minutes Streamed
(Millions)

1 Netflix The Woman in the Window 1 500
2 Netflix The Mitchells vs. The Machines  1 495
3 Disney+ Moana 1 221
4 Amazon Without Remorse 1 214
5 Netflix Dead Man Down 1 178
6 Netflix Madagascar 3 1 146
7 Hulu The Clovehitch Killer  1 125
8 Netflix I Am All Girls (2021) 1 104
9 Netflix Monster (2021) 1 102
10 Disney+ Frozen II 1 101

Licensed Shows:

Rank

SVOD Provider

Program Name

Number of Episodes

Minutes Streamed
(Millions)

1 Netflix “Start-Up”  31 760
2 Netflix “Grey’s Anatomy” 371 691
3 Netflix “NCIS” 353 672
4 Netflix “Criminal Minds” 310 579
5 Netflix “Cocomelon”  9 551
6 Netflix “Schitt’s Creek” 80 352
7 Netflix “Heartland” 174 341
8 Netflix “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn”  82 276
9 Netflix “New Girl”  146 261
10 Netflix “Supernatural” 328 239