Distribution Dynamics in Specialty SVOD

Important note: Antenna data includes Direct Subscriptions (Subscriptions where the user signs up for a service directly with the service itself, rather than through an app store, channels environment or as an add-on to a vMVPD) for the entire Premium SVOD category, but only for Acorn TV, BET+, and Britbox in the Specialty category. As such, our numbers for Specialty Direct subscriptions are understated compared to the actual.  However, the directional insights contained in this post hold true.

Last week we released our latest State of Subscription Report on Specialty SVOD. Today, we’re digging deeper into the impact of distribution within the Speciality category.

Specialty SVOD services take a markedly different distribution strategy than Premium SVOD services, with a significantly higher reliance on third party distributors, particularly Amazon Channels. Two of every three Specialty SVOD Subscriptions that Antenna measures come through Amazon Channels, compared to just 9% for Premium SVOD services.

If we take a consumer-centric view of distribution behavior, an interesting distinction is apparent between the Specialty and Premium SVOD categories.

When we isolate individuals who have two or more Subscriptions in each of Specialty and Premium, we see very different behaviors across distribution platforms: 62% of individuals with two or more Specialty subscriptions have all of their subscriptions through Amazon Channels, while about one in four use a mix of Distributors.

Among individuals with two or more Premium subscriptions, two in three have a mix of Distributors, and another 22% take all of their subscriptions directly with the Service. Only 2% of these individuals use Amazon Channels exclusively. This is, of course, influenced heavily by the availability of services on different platforms—only five of the 10 Premium SVODs are distributed via Amazon Channels, and Netflix and Hulu are almost completely Direct. But it does suggest that consumers are willing to find Premium SVOD services wherever they choose to distribute, but are more likely to stick with their preferred distribution platform when selecting Specialty services to which they subscribe. 

If you’re interested in downloading a copy of the latest State of Subscriptions Report, you can sign-up to receive it automatically on our homepage.

For more detailed information on Antenna’s methodology and definitions of core metrics, please visit http://www.antenna.live/methodology.

Brendan Brady is a Content Strategy Associate at Antenna, a measurement and analytics company providing insight into purchase behavior and subscription metrics across the new media landscape.