PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Wurl, the world leader powering streaming TV, has formed a research division of the company, Wurl Analytics, to generate data-driven insights and analysis on the trends and challenges facing the streaming TV business. In its first report, Churn Analysis Report 2021, Wurl Analytics uncovers the far-reaching financial impact of churn, both in terms of lost revenue and subscriber acquisition costs.
Looking at estimated lost U.S. revenue for four of the top SVOD platforms due to churn, Wurl Analytics calculated that HBO Max lost $33.1M, Netflix lost $17.3M, Hulu lost $15.1M and Disney+ lost $14.7M in the month of April 2021 alone.1
Churn, of course, does not only create a loss of revenue for SVOD platforms. There are also costs incurred when marketing these services to both attract new subscribers and increase engagement from existing subscribers. In the US alone, the same four services - Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and HBO Max - collectively spent nearly $50M in media, but nearly $20M is attributable to reducing churn.2 This illustrates just how expensive churn can be: not only in terms of lost revenue, but also the negative return toward total marketing.
Disney+, HBO Max and ViacomCBS experienced monthly churn rates ranging from 2% to 7%. This equates to huge subscriber losses and require substantial investment in both marketing and content to attract new subscribers who will replace lost subscribers, while also reaching publicly-stated growth targets.
To meet their stated goals, large SVOD platforms must add hundreds of millions of subscribers just to replace those that churn. Wurl Analytics estimates that between 2021 and 2024, Disney+ will churn 333.1 million subscribers, requiring it to attract 472.5 million subscribers in order to reach its stated growth target of between 230-260 million global subscribers by the end of 2024. All other SVOD services have similar challenges. For HBO Max to meet its goal of 150 million subscribers after churn, it needs to acquire 302.6 million new subscribers. ViacomCBS's suite of SVOD services needs 210.4 million additions to hit their goals of 150 million subscribers by 2025 and 70 million subscriber additions to hit their goal of 70 million subscribers by 2024.3
"Churn is not a new problem in the video business, of course, but with the advent of streaming services, subscriber churn has escalated and accelerated due to the fact that it is much easier to cancel a streaming subscription than it is to cancel a conventional cable subscription," said Sean Doherty Jr., Head of Wurl Analytics. "With this report, we are providing a snapshot of the actual financial impact churn is having on streamers. It is the first of several reports Wurl Analytics will publish each year aimed at providing the streaming TV business with valuable data insights to help inform better business and marketing decisions."
Wurl Analytics, a division of Wurl, was established to better utilize the company's vast data resources and provide insights and analysis on the trends and challenges facing the connected TV business around the world. Headed by Wurl co-founder and SVP of Operations Sean Doherty Jr., Wurl Analytics publishes periodic research and white papers on topics impacting the industry that are made available through its research and/or media partners and on www.wurl.com
Wurl, the world leader in powering streaming TV, interconnects over 1200 streaming channels from the world's top content companies with the leading streaming distribution services in over 50 countries. The Wurl Network platform helps leading studios such as A+E Networks, AMC Networks, Bloomberg, BBC Studios, CNN, Reuters and Sony, deliver programming to the biggest streaming platforms, including Amazon IMDb TV, Roku, Samsung TV Plus, Rakuten, Twitch, and VIZIO, while maximizing monetization. Reaching over 250 million connected TVs around the globe, Wurl makes it effortless for content companies to build and track global distribution for branded linear channels, live events, and on-demand programming to manage and monetize their ad inventory. Wurl is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.
1 Calculations based upon Wurl Analytics' churn tracking and estimated SVOD churn for April 2021 from Antenna Analytics data applied to reported subscriber bases and multiplying the calculated churned subscribers against the assumed average charge per subscriber. 2 Calculation based upon Wurl Analytics' churn tracking and April 2021 ad spend data from iSpot.tv published in Variety Intelligence Platform. 3 Domestic monthly churn rates from Antenna Analytics were assumed to be the same globally and applied monthly, i.e. 12 times per year for each year until stated subscriber target. Yearly target was calculated by subtracting current subscriber base from target and dividing the number of years in between. New subscribers were calculated by subtracting annual churn from yearly target.