Sat. Feb 4th, 2023
HBO reports

It’s been just over a year since HBO launched its streaming-only online platform HBO Now, and the network is declaring that investment, along with HBO Go and HBO On Demand, a success. On Monday, HBO sent out a press release saying the digital platforms had been the driver for “record viewership,” especially with season six of Game of Thrones.

Netflix, on the other hand, was less fortunate. That steadfast bastion of cordcutter viewers saw its “weakest subscriber expansion in two years,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Still, Netflix was able to keep content costs low enough to exceed earnings expectations, the newspaper said.

Both companies have threatened traditional pay TV models in the past. Netflix was first on the scene, and HBO struck deals with its pay-TV partners to enable a standalone HBO package.

HBO’s newer digital platforms have received an enthusiastic reception from viewers. “This record audience reflects the options we’ve built into our business model over the past few years,” HBO CEO and Chairman Richard Plepler said in a statement.

The clear winner in HBO’s June quarter was the sixth season of the HBO original series Game of Thrones, which attracted 25.1 million viewers, up from 20.2 million viewers in the previous season. Jeff Cusson, an HBO spokesman, told Ars over the phone that it was the “first time a show on HBO has continued to grow after six seasons,” adding that the network’s digital platforms helped bring new viewers to the aging season. because many of them binge-watched the previous five seasons this quarter. That’s what the network noticed Game of Thrones viewership on HBO Go and HBO Now was 91 percent higher than last season, when HBO Now was still exclusive to a few devices and Internet subscriptions.

HBO also said that season three of Silicon Valley was also the series’ most-watched season, up about 600,000 viewers from last year. Nearly 40 percent of Silicon Valleys viewers were on HBO Go or HBO Now, but the network didn’t break down viewer numbers any further. Veep and Last week tonight with John Oliver both saw 25 and 22 percent of viewers watch from a digital streaming platform, respectively, and Real Time with Bill Maher 10 percent of viewers tuned in via digital streaming.

HBO didn’t provide updated subscriber numbers, but last year the company reported that it had signed up 800,000 new customers for HBO Now.

But it was a mixed day for streaming service business news as Netflix posted profits that fell short of expectations. It added just 160,000 new subscribers in the US last quarter, far short of the company’s projection of 500,000 subscriptions. Netflix had more success abroad, adding 1.52 million new customers, though it forecast a second-quarter subscription profit of 2 million.

The streaming company has said it expected a slowdown in subscription growth in the US following a subscription price increase. Existing customers were given access to the system at lower prices, but this year Netflix slowly started increasing those subscription rates for the older customers.

But Netflix seems to have a few tricks up its sleeve. Today it announced it would be streaming CBS’ new Star Trek series in 188 countries, unfortunately excluding the US and Canada. The streaming service is also trying to broadcast some of its original content, such as Club de Cuervos, Narcosand Marseilles on TV broadcasts to hook potential subscribers.

By akfire1

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