StarzPlay has recorded a 479% increase in subscriptions as compared to the same time last year (YoY).
SVOD platform StarzPlay has reported a fivefold increase in its number of monthly subscribers, driven by the addition of new sports content.
The average revenue per user has also increased by 30% as they subscribe to more sports packages, particularly Premier Sports League (live rugby) and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. The sporting leagues created an influx of organic demand leading to a 41% reduction in the cost of acquiring subscriptions.
The platform reported a 479% increase in overall subscriptions from the same time last year and a 161% increase from the highest growth achieved during the lockdown peak in 2020.
Commenting on the growth, Maaz Sheikh, CEO of StarzPlay, said: “Live sports have the power to bring people together. We saw an untapped opportunity to invest in live sports, which has tremendously benefitted our business as well as helped transform the OTT landscape. We launched our first live sports channel in 2021 and our recent study shows that the sports category on our platform has witnessed stupendous growth, which is a testament to the growing demand for exclusive and live sports content.”
He added: “In fact, for the first time ever in the region a streaming platform hosted the power-packed ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. The league has been a huge success with StarzPlay breaking records of the last six years for the number of single-day signups, revenue and concurrent users. Our study shows that StarzPlay has truly evolved as the streaming platform of choice for sports lovers, and we will continue to innovate in this niche sector to drive our growth and leadership in the region.”
The UAE continues to be the largest growth market for StarzPlay with the highest percentage increase in signups followed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Cricket dominated the demand for sporting events particularly the ICC T20 event with a significant 968% increase in the volume of subscriptions in the UAE in October compared to the pre-cricket monthly average in the same period last year. Qatar witnessed an 870% increase and Saudi Arabia witnessed a 49% increase.
StarzPlay had won the exclusive rights to live stream the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and the data shows significant gains in terms of daily sign-ups, consumption and playtime in minutes. The daily consumption increased by 145% during the ICC T20 semifinal from the current daily average and 17% from the lockdown peak in April 2020. Concurrent plays were at an all-time high of a 380% over increase from an average weekend.
During the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, StarzPlay witnessed a 123% uplift in the daily consumption minutes compared to the pre-cricket daily average.
StarzPlay is also named as the ‘Super Streaming App’ highlighting its credentials not only as a destination for TV shows and movies but also popular sports and factual entertainment. Winning the exclusive rights for the coveted football competitions like AFC Asian Cup and FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers, led to a phenomenal increase in StarzPlay’s app downloads resulting in StarzPlay gaining the first position in the UAE entertainment chart as well as the overall chart for all app categories within Apple store, according to StarzPlay.
However, piracy affected app downloads and ranking during the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup. During T20 Cricket World Cup, numerous illegal apps were gaining traction leading to licensed streaming services suffering millions of dollars in loss.
Maaz concluded: “When we launched our add-on packages, one of the main considerations was the price point. We wanted to make content easily available to our subscribers and at affordable prices. This was further customised to offer convenience to customers in the form of daily, weekly and monthly passes for the Cricket World Cup. The idea was to have the product offering available to everyone. However, despite understanding the purchasing power of our customers as well as customising our services, an increasing number of viewers turned to illegitimate services. As the leading player in the industry, we feel it’s imperative to highlight the concerns surrounding piracy to mitigate the overall impact on the industry’s revenue.”