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The streaming retention revolution Content is king, distribution is queen, but retention is revolutionary

Report by Tim Mulligan
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20,000 foot view:  With video streaming transitioning into mainstream TV consumption, we have moved into the era of streaming TV. As a result, the early focus on gaining subscribers is making way for the rising challenge of retaining these newly acquired subscribers. Retention is the key metric of the emerging post-growth streaming, with the ratio of weekly active users (WAUs) who are daily active users (DAUs) becoming the key metric to measure streaming success, as streaming TV becomes a fully digitally- native experience. Content proliferation will need to make way for content curation as video becomes deeply entwined with the wider digital entertainment ecosystem.

Key insights

  • Video subscriptions in        2022 are now at        penetration rates – higher than where pay-TV subscriptions were in        2018 (in English speaking markets)

  • However, subscription penetration rates have been around the        mainstream mark since the start of the        big bang moment of        2019

  • Multiple video subscriptions increased year-on-year (YoY) by five percentage points to        in        2022, suggesting that growth will start to slow as the market starts to saturate

  • Video streaming is starting to lose direct engagement with viewers with both YoY and weekly time spent on streaming video down        and actual full attention down two percentage points to       

  • This means that streaming TV is increasingly becoming part of, rather than distinct from, other digital entertainment formats and behaviours

  •        services now need to approach retention hooks from a digital first, rather than from a legacy TV, perspective

  • At its core, the new retention era will be marked by pragmatism and conservative risk taking in content investment and distribution

Companies and brands mentioned in this report : Amazon, Amazon Prime Video, Audible, Disney, Disney+, Netflix, and Spotify

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