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SVOD May Be Heading Toward a Bear Market

Already populated with the virtual headstones of go90, Seeso and, more recently, FilmStruck (closing down Nov. 29) and Drama Fever, the graveyard for over-the-top video platforms is about to get more crowded.

That’s the opinion of Fox Networks senior VP of distribution Sherry Brennan, who believes the supply of more than 200 over-the-top services in the U.S. (according to Parks Associates) has outstripped consumer demand.

Speaking at the Streaming Media West Show in Huntington Beach, Calif., Brennan said, “only a handful of platforms can support themselves in the niche OTT world.”

Only a small number of subscription-based streaming services have reached the 100,000-customer mark, Brennan noted. And churn is high, with increasingly savvy customers exploiting free signup enticements, and quickly checking in and out of services.

“That only adds to the cost” of these platforms, she said.

“The subscription video-on-demand business has become incredibly difficult,” said Eric Berman, head of content for Ellation Media, a WarnerMedia unit that runs Crunchyroll and VRV, two SVOD services the parent company seems to be doubling down on.

The OTT market has “become so fragmented, with consumers bombarded with apps and passwords,” Berman added.