According to Parks Associates, among new OTT subscribers, 27% subscribed to Apple TV+ since start of COVID-19 crisis. Parks Associates reports the churn rate for OTT services increased from 35% in Q1 2019 to 41% in Q1 2020. During the COVID-19 crisis, more than two in five US broadband households have trialed an OTT service, and 8% of households have trialed four or more services.
“We are seeing a record number of consumers experiment with new OTT services as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the shifts in strategy in the industry,” said Steve Nason, Research Director, Parks Associates, in a statement. “OTT services are offering extended free trials to build up engagement, and 8% of US broadband households report they have subscribed to at least one new OTT service since the COVID-19 crisis began.”
Among these new subscribers, 49% subscribed to Disney+ and 27% subscribed to Apple TV+, so conditions created by the crisis helped these services quickly increase their subscriber base. A key question going forward is whether subscribers will keep these services as fewer households shelter-in-place. A significant challenge, especially for services relying on original programming, is delivering new content since production on many series has halted.
“The industry is working on new hybrid content strategies as a result of production halts,” Nason said. “Major players like AT&T for Warner Brothers and Comcast for Universal Studios are greatly concerned about the delays in content production on the launches of new services, like HBO Max and Peacock. Free trials will bring in new subscribers at the launch, and roughly seven in ten have subscribed to at least one OTT service they have trialed. OTT services need to be creative in building an engaging service, but during this time of heavy video consumption, OTT services have the opportunity like never before to win over new video consumers and retain them as long-term subscribers.”
Steve Nason will present the keynote “The Impacts of COVID-19 on OTT” at the StreamTV Summer Research Summit on Tuesday, June 30, featuring key findings from the research firm’s latest consumer and industry research.
MacDailyNews Take: Now’s obviously the time to lure them in and get them onboard for the long haul. Now, who said we couldn’t wedge three hackneyed metaphors into one simple sentence? Also, never underestimate the power of Baby Yoda.