Discovery+ Delivers Streaming Gold at Tokyo Olympics

The opening week of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo saw record numbers visit Discovery’s digital platforms in Europe. Almost three-quarters of a billion streaming minutes of content has been consumed on Discovery+ and Eurosport Player during the first week, nearly 18 times more than by the same stage of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea.

The Discovery+ subscription streaming video service launched in January this year, while the Eurosport Player bowed in 2008, with mobile versions debuting in 2011.

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While Comcast/NBCUniversal have exclusive rights to the games in North America, Discovery secured its first rights in 50 markets in Europe for $1.5 billion featuring 11 national productions and coverage in 19 languages.

With European viewers able to personalize their Olympics coverage, Discovery scored a large linear-TV audience share, underscoring widespread interest in the delayed Tokyo Games across the Nordic markets where Discovery is presenting the Games on its free-to-air networks. Shares as high as 78% in Norway (Handball, Spain vs. Norway); 67% in Sweden (Football, Sweden vs. Australia); and 60% in Sweden (Swimming) were recorded.

Discovery’s multi-platform distribution has generated more than 275 million European viewers of the Games so far. More than 100 million have watched through Discovery’s coverage on TV and digital, and an additional 175 million more have watched the Games through Discovery’s license agreements with free-to-air broadcasters around Europe.

Combined, this represents a 10% higher reach than PyeongChang 2018, with the average audience share of Discovery’s pay-TV channels improving by more than 30%.

“When we look back at the first week, it is clear the Olympics has brought new and different audiences to our platforms in impressive numbers,” Jean-Briac Perrette, CEO of Discovery International, said in a statement. “The Tokyo Games are seeing digital numbers never seen before, and we are thrilled that so many fans across Europe are watching the Games on discovery+ and Eurosport Player.”

Eurosport.com and its multiple local market versions have also seen record breaking daily audiences, with three times higher reach as the same stage of PyeongChang 2018. Interest in the Olympics delivered a record month for the website in July as 54 million unique users visited the platform.

“Whether through record digital engagement on Discovery’s platforms or large audience share on our networks, it is clear these games are having a big impact,” said Andrew Georgiou, president of sports for Discovery.

Discovery, ProSiebenSat.1 Launching Online TV Service in Germany

U.S. media giant Discovery and German pay-TV operator ProSiebenSat.1 are launching in June an online TV service in Germany dubbed “Joyn.”

The service — similar to Sling TV, DirecTV Now, etc. in the United States — replaces 7TV and will feature about 50 channels streaming content seven days ahead of pay-TV and available on VOD for 30 days.

With a goal of 10 million subscribers, “Joyn” will feature original content as well as movie services Maxdome and Eurosport Player. It will be accessible on TVs, smartphones, tablets and the Internet.

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Netflix currently has about 2.6 million German subs, while Amazon Prime Video has about 3.3 million.

“We are aiming to transform the German video entertainment market,” Alexandar Vassilev, managing director of Joyn, said in a statement.“Our focus is exclusively on the needs of our audiences and we commit to actively listen and reflect their feedback as we make our platform a success.”

For Discovery, the move represents another step integrating internal brands in Europe through over-the-top video distribution.

The parent to HGTV, Food Network and DIY Network, among others, earlier this year bowed Home & Garden TV in Germany, including a series of localized reality TV shows centered around home improvement.

 

 

 

Study: U.S. SVOD Buyers Average 3.4 Services

Online video subscribers in the United States average 3.4 streaming services and pay an average of $8.53 per month per service, according to a new study.

The nScreenMedia study, “Keep My Customer — Why Consumers Subscribe To, Stay With, Cancel, and Come Back to Online Video Services,” also found that 70% of households in the United States and 40% of U.K. homes have a subscription to at least one streaming video service.

The study was commissioned by Vindicia, an Amdocs company providing business-to-consumer digital services monetization.

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Involuntary cancellation is a problem for the industry, according to the study. These payment failures occur when a credit card problem, such as insufficient funds, results in automatic cancellation of a customer. The study revealed that more than a quarter of U.S. and a third of U.K. online video streamers have had a SVOD service canceled due to a credit card problem. And of those groups, 30% did not return to the service.

“Involuntary cancellations are a huge problem for the SVOD industry, particularly among young subscribers,” said study author Colin Dixon, founder and chief analyst at nScreenMedia, in a statement. “Young adults from 18 to 34 years old are twice as likely to have experienced involuntary cancellation in the U.K., and three times more likely in the U.S.”

“For video streaming services, the ability to acquire and retain subscribers is vital to their success,” said Anthony Goonetilleke, group president, media, network and technology, Amdocs, in a statement. “However, streaming services are losing subscribers — and millions of dollars in annual revenue — due to involuntary credit card cancellations. This kind of customer churn is largely preventable. By leveraging the right technology, video streaming providers can recover failed payment transactions and capture revenue that would otherwise be lost, enabling them to better compete in a highly competitive market.”

In terms of overall cancellations, the survey looked at how often people cancel their service and their reasons for doing so. In the United States, 38% of the survey group said they have canceled one or more services in the last year. Of that group, two-thirds said they had canceled one service only, and just one in 10 have canceled three or more services.

Netflix users are slightly less likely than average to have canceled service in the last year, according to the study, while Hulu users are slightly more likely. Amazon Prime Video users are no more or less likely than average.

The top two reasons cited for canceling a video service: people couldn’t find enough content they liked and didn’t find the service a good value for their money.

Previous customers are the best new prospects, as the study found that 33% of U.S. and 25% of U.K. cancellers have been persuaded to sign up for service again.

Discounted subscriptions are an under-exploited opportunity for service providers to win new customers. The survey revealed that a 20% discount for a three-month commitment generated the highest interest level, with 66% of U.S. and 57% of U.K. subscribers saying they were likely or extremely likely to take the offer. Three months is an important milestone, because subscribers that stay this long are much less likely to leave the service. Surprisingly, the study found that offering more than a 20% discount did not result in more interest.

The study also found that free-trial abuse is not a serious problem for online video service providers. While 49% of U.S. and 62% of U.K. online video subscribers have canceled at least one service within the free trial period, only 5% in the U.S. and 2% in the U.K. have canceled within the free-trial period four or more times in the last year.

When it comes to retaining existing subscribers, content is king. The study found that 64% of U.S. subscribers and 55% of U.K. subscribers have been with their longest-tenured service for one year or more. When asked why they stay, respondents said having plenty of interesting content to watch was the top reason. Value for money was a close second place, and ease of finding something good to watch came in third. Interesting original content was the fourth reason, while providing plenty of new shows took the fifth-place spot.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s expanding influence in the VOD market is evident. The study found that one-third of U.K. and U.S. Prime Video subscribers have purchased an add-on video service, with higher income individuals more likely to use Amazon Prime Video and to purchase an add-on. In the United States, the most popular video add-ons are premium services such as HBO, Starz, Showtime and Cinemax. CBS All Access is also very popular. In the United Kingdom, the most popular video add-ons are Eurosport Player, Discovery, ITV Hub+ and FilmBox.

To learn more about the nScreenMedia study or to download a copy, visit here.