Why Brands Like HBO and WWE Are Flocking to Streaming Subscription Services

By Aarthi Rayapura April 26, 2017

Excerpts from an article by By A.J. Katz in AdWeek

In the history of TV—all 75 years of it—there has never been a time when so much content has been so readily available to watch. But with the average cable package now topping $103, according to Leichtman Research Group, and a new wave of direct-to-consumer services, viewers have more choices than ever in how they watch, via over-the-top, or OTT, services.

About 82 percent of TV households nationwide subscribe to some form of pay-TV service, according to Leichtman. That’s down 5 percent from 2011. As consumer behavior changed, and the technology got better, TV programmers took notice and started going over the top.

CBS All Access was one of the first to launch in October 2014. It now has almost 1.5 million subscribers paying $5.99 a month. HBO Now was the first premium direct-to-consumer service. It launched in April 2015 and now has more than 2 million subscribers paying $14.99 per month.

And while those platforms serve a wide audience, the new trend is niche. This month, Turner launched Boomerang, an ad-free streaming service that comes with access to thousands of hours of cartoons including the entire Hanna-Barbera, Looney Tunes and MGM libraries.

Another streaming player, WWE Network, is built for fans of professional wrestling.“Back in 2012 and 2013, we started doing research among our fans, and we found out pretty quickly that WWE fans were consuming a lot of digital content online, about five times the national average,” WWE chief revenue and marketing officer Michelle Wilson told Adweek. “So while we were originally going down the path of launching a linear TV network, when we saw this data the light bulb went off for us and we felt this was an opportunity for us to go direct to our consumers.”

“We felt streaming provided the greatest long-term transformative growth for WWE on a global basis.” The three-year-old WWE Network, which can be viewed with services like Roku and Apple TV, now has nearly 2 million paid and free trial subscribers across the globe.

Read the full article in AdWeek

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