The importance of a title – the Game of Thrones effect

29 May 2019

How critical is a single title for attracting or retaining subscribers to a specific SVOD service? Game of Thrones, the HBO popular series that recently had its grand finale, gives us one illustrative example to the importance of a mega hit.

Content is often seen as the single most important competitive factor in streaming (as well as in all other media). So, how much power does an individual series or title have, in attracting new subscribers or as a retainer of existing customers? Mediavision can illustrate this by looking at the example of Game of Thrones, which recently ended its 8th and final season. No doubt, the series has an extremely loyal fanbase worldwide. However, as illustrated below, it may pose a challenge to retain all the GoT fans now as the series has come to an end.

HBO Nordic household penetration in Sweden: Penetration growth during GoT quarters
Looking at the development of HBO Nordic subscribers in Sweden, an interesting pattern appears. There is a strong – but temporary – growth in subscriber up-take when a new season of GoT is released. In April 2019, the month marking the start of the final season, the number of subscribing households was up +20% compared to the Jan-April average. This is the largest relative growth of all seasons, hence, demonstrating the benefit of owning a strong title such as GoT. Just as interesting, a significant number of subscribers leave after each new season. The question now is of course what the effect will be after the final season.

Looking at the Nordic online video market as a whole, it continues to show steady growth during spring of 2019. And as Mediavision discussed in the May 27 press release, consumers are increasingly signing up for more than one service – a phenomenon referred to as “stacking”. This, in turn, is good news as the streaming market is driven by both penetration and stacking. Nordic stacking today amounts to 1,7 subs per subscribing household.

Mediavision blogs:

Who will win the Nordic streaming war?
Competition on the Nordic streaming market is ramping up with several new services about to launch. Content investments are escalating and only partly offset by price increases. In the US, Netflix recently announced +13-18% on subscription fees.

Mediavision press releases:

10 million streaming subscriptions in the Nordics
Streaming video continues to grow rapidly in the Nordics, Mediavision concludes in its recently published analysis on the Nordic TV and video market. An increasing number of consumers subscribe […].

Industry news:

Publisher Meredith Corp. sells Sports Illustrated intellectual property to Authentic Brand Group for $100 million. Under the terms of the deal Authentic Brands Group acquires the rights to market, develop and license Sports Illustrated.
Google it planning on investing about €600 M in a data center in Hamina, Finland. Google already has a data center in Hamina in which Google invested €800 M. Google’s other European data centers are located in the Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium.
Efforts by Amazon shareholders to urge the company not to sell its facial recognition to government customers failed a vote by a wide margin. Roughly 2.4 percent of shareholders voted for the proposal, far from the 50 percent needed to pass.
French pay-TV operator Canal+ Group is acquiring the independent pay-TV company M7 for a purchase price of roughly €1 billion. M7 has a total of 3 million subscribers across Europe. The deal is subject to European Commission approval.
The four big German publishing groups Axel Springer, Funke Mediengruppe, RTL Group and Gruner+Jahr have joined forces to withstand the power of the tech giants. The goal is to pull ad investments from the tech giants into the media groups’ pots.
Netflix and BBC Studios India has teamed up to produce a dating show which will, the show is titled “What’s The Love? With Karan Johar”. Karan Johar is the host of the immensely popular talk show “Koffee with Johar” which airs on Disney’s Star World India channel.

Mediavision in the news:

Antallet af nordiske husstande, der bruger penge på abonnementsfinansierede streamingtjenester, forsætter med at stige. Det viser en analyse fra analyse- og konsulentselskabet Mediavision.
Sammantaget finns nu ungefär 10 miljoner streamingabonnemang i Norden fördelat på 5,8 miljoner betalande hushåll. Det är en 16 procentig ökning jämfört med förra året, och innebär att […].
STOCKHOLM (Nyhetsbyrån Direkt) Antalet hushåll i Norden som har minst en videostreamingtjänst har ökat med 16 procent under det senaste året. Parallellt har antalet abonnemang som […].
Antalet hushåll i Norden som har minst en videostreamingtjänst har ökat med 16 procent under det senaste året. Parallellt har antalet abonnemang som varje hushåll har, så kallad ”stacking”, också gått upp.

Industry events

*Events where Mediavision will be presenting