Adding to the signs of tough times at Netflix, analyst Vijay Jayant of Evercore ISI reports that download activity for the streamer’s app was down in June.
Jayant also noted that Paramount Plus downloads hit record levels in the second quarter.
Global downloads of streaming subscription video-on-demand services were up 8% year over year in June. Netflix had a 28% share of those downloads, followed by Disney Plus at 26% and Amazon Prime at 20%. For ad-supported VOD apps, global downloads were down 17% year-over-year in June, but up 2% from May.
Virtual MVPD downloads were up 69% in June compared to a year ago and up 46% from May. YouTube TV had a 46% share of downloads, followed by DirecTV Stream with 35% of downloads and fuboTV with 12% of downloads. ▪️
Based on data from Sensor Tower, Jayant said Netflix downloads were down 5% compared to a year ago in June and 2% lower than last month.
The drop was biggest year over year in the Asia-Pacific and United States-Canada regions at 16% and 13% respectively. Downloads were up 8% in Europe-Middle East and 1% in Latin America.
Compared to May, downloads were up 14% in U.S.-Canada and 1% in Europe-Middle East, but down in Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
Netflix shocked the streaming industry by reporting a loss of 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter. Its stock plunged and the company announced plans to restrict password sharing and launch an ad supported tier to rekindle growth.
Jayant notes that the negative app download trends “are broadly consistent with management’s commentary about gross adds stabilizing at a lower level than historically and net adds being negatively impacted by higher churn.”
He added that monthly active users were down 5% from last year, but flat versus May.
Meanwhile Paramount Plus downloads were up 19% in June on a year-over-year basis and up 11% month over month, contributing to record download activity in the second quarter.
Jayant noted that Paramount Plus has made sequential improvements in downloads each quarter since it was launched in 2021.
Paramount Plus’ download growth was boosted by international activity in June. It was up 37% month over month in June, but down 9% domestically.
Disney Plus uploads (not counting Hotstar) accelerated in June, benefiting from new market launches and the arrival of fresh content. Downloads were up 29% year-over-year globally and 36% month-over-month. Domestic downloads were up 14% compared to May but down 10% compared a year ago.
For the quarter Disney Plus downloads were up 28% year over year and 5% for the quarter.
Including Hotstar, Disney Plus downloads fell 10% in June compared to a year ago and 39% compared to May following the end of the IPL cricket league tournament in May. For the quarter, downloads were up 27% compared to last year and 37% compared to Q1.
For Warner Bros. Discovery, HBO Max downloads were down 9% compared to May, but still up 26% compared to a year ago. Domestic downloads were down 53% compared to a year ago.
Discovery Plus downloads were down 3% from last year, but up 10% from May. For the second quarter, downloads activity was the lowest since Discovery Plus was launched in Q1 2021.
“We would not be surprised if download activity continues to moderate as Warner Bros. Discovery pulls back on marketing spend for HBO Max ahead of launching an integrated SVOD service, which we believe will occur in Q1 2023.” Jayant said. ■
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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