Premium SVOD: Shifting Distribution Strategies

This post is a section from Antenna's 2021 Year in Streaming Report. If you are interested in receiving the full report, contact

The Connected TV app ecosystem is significantly more complex than the mobile app ecosystem, and consumers have many more paths to transacting a subscription. Consequently, SVOD services are faced with important decisions around their distribution strategies. By the end of 2021, three primary distribution camps have emerged in the category.

First, is the “Direct” camp. Netflix, Hulu and Apple TV+,primarily Sign-up consumers directly through their own self-managed channel(the latter, via their iTunes app store). Second, is the “App Stores” camp. Disney+, Peacock and HBO Max augment their Direct channel with a variety of app stores.

Third, is the “Amazon Channels” camp. Discovery+, Paramount+,Showtime and Starz utilize this strategy, and Amazon Channels ecosystem accounts for 18.2M Subscriptions, or 41% of the combinedAntenna-Covered Subscriber base for those services. HBO Max made a deliberate shift in distribution strategy by pulling out of the Amazon Channels ecosystem.Antenna finds that the service lost 4.2M Subscribers when the transition took place, and the resulting distribution mix looks dramatically different.

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.