A subscriber is not a subscriber

Presented by 43Twenty

It’s a long-term game and WarnedMedia's in for the ride. The news broke last week that Roku and WarnerMedia reached an agreement to distribute HBO Max on Roku platforms, however, the bigger story is that The Roku Channel will no longer sell subscriptions to HBO. This is a giant step forward in WarnerMedia’s quest to turn HBO Max into a direct-to-consumer business. According to sources at Bloomberg, Roku will receive a cut of the advertising inventory available in the upcoming ad-supported version of HBO Max, in exchange. Over the last two months, WarnerMedia launched HBO Max on Amazon Fire TV, Comcast X1 and Flex, Playstation 5, and Roku. They announced that Wonder Woman 1984 will head to theaters and HBO Max day & date, later following that up with the entire 2021 theatrical slate will be concurrently released on its streaming service. Link

A subscriber is not a subscriber. Consumers now use seven video streaming services, which is why aggregators are going to win the “streaming wars”. It’s also because so many companies are blinded by short-term gains, completely forgoing their DTC aspirations and farming their subscription business out to affiliates. The future of TV is direct-to-consumer. Either you’re going to establish a relationship with your customers or your partners will, straight up. Link

Why Hulu will not expand internationally. In February during a Disney earnings call, Bob Chapek said that Hulu would begin its international expansion as soon as 2021, however, Disney scrapped plans for Hulu's international roll-out, deciding instead to focus on Disney Plus and its India-based Star brand in non-US markets. Look no further than the deal Disney stuck with Comcast (who also had a stake in the streamer). Disney doesn't get to actually buy Comcast's 33% stake in Hulu until 2024, at which point the price will be determined by a third-party assessment of Hulu's market value. If Hulu becomes more valuable — through international success, for instance — Disney will have to pay more. Link

Netflix tests an audio-only option. Netflix first announced its plan to try an audio-only mode back in October and is now testing the feature initially for Android, that lets users disable video and listen to the audio of a TV show or movie in the background. Will anyone be interested in the feature? Dunno, which is why this is being tested. Link

Tubi’s revenues have doubled since Fox acquired it earlier this year. And its ad sales are growing so fast that Fox’s top financial executive this week predicted it will surpass the company’s broadcast network revenue in the next “two-to-three years.” Link

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment has taken full control of Crackle Plus, with Sony exercising its option to trade a minority stake for preferred stock. The transaction gives Sony the right to obtain $40 million of preferred CSSE stock in exchange for its stake. For the next 30 days, Chicken Soup has the right to pay cash in lieu of some or all of the preferred stock and the company said it has already determined that it will give Sony some amount of preferred stock. Link


We help (DTC) streaming services and (B2B) solutions providers accelerate their OTT businesses. 43Twenty is an OTT growth consultancy and digital marketing agency. We help media, entertainment, and technology companies unlock customer growth and revenue.

  • Strategic Advisory - We provide boards and executives with forward-thinking strategies that drive sustainable competitive advantage and profitability.

  • Digital Marketing - We create custom digital marketing plans that boost online traffic and revenue for streaming services and OTT solutions providers.

  • CX Strategy - We help product and marketing optimize customer experiences that delight, increase customer acquisition, loyalty, and engagement.

  • Retention Marketing - We help streaming services strengthen their relationship with customers throughout the product lifecycle – helping reduce churn, and increasing lifetime value.

  • Workshops - We conduct workshops on customer-centric KPIs, which help prioritize investments and unlocks visibility into the downstream effects and impact of product development and marketing efforts.

  • Vendor Sourcing - We guide businesses through the maze of solutions providers that align with their business short-term and long-term business objectives.

Discover more here or send us email to schedule a meeting.


Comcast Xfinity Stream launches on Amazon Fire TV. Link

Another ad fraud scheme on connected TV sees $14.5 million stolen. Link

Major US news publishers join the Coalition for App Fairness advocacy group to fight the ‘Apple tax’. Link

Amazon Fire TV has updated its UI, and says it now has 50 million monthly active users on its devices around the world, marking a 25% increase in reach since January. Link


According to Leichtman Research Group, the share of households with SVOD services only has surpassed that of pay-TV-only households. Link

Roku acts like streaming TV’s bouncer. Can that Last? Link

Why the AT&T-Fuse Media distribution dispute is sending an important signal about the pay-TV market. Link

WarnerMedia chief Jason Kilar's combative leadership style cut his run short at Hulu. Now he's trying it again with Hollywood. Link

Five ways publishers can level-up personalization for engagement and revenue. Link

69% of OTT trialers end up subscribing to at least one trialed service. Link

20% of U.S. Broadband Homes Use Ad-Supported OTT Video Services. Link

How the future of TV was reshaped by 2020. Link

25% of U.S. broadband households now prefer an over-the-top video subscription service to watch new movies, while 24% still prefer movie theaters to experience first-run movie titles. Link

The evolution of streaming: a decade of change and a bright future. Link

Video streaming subscription growth sets a new record. Link

How Disney's growth plans compare to Netflix. Link

Some 8 in 10 US advertisers agree on the importance of reaching the right audience with their video ad efforts, but significantly fewer feel that they are able to do this effectively. Link

Netflix keeps its position as one of the least-canceled subscription services in America. Link


Ebook: Optimizing the OTT Customer Journey: Keys to maintaining Direct-to-Consumer Video Growth

We dropped an ebook called "Optimizing the OTT Customer Journey." It explains how streaming video services can increase awareness, inbound traffic, conversions, CLV, and more.

What you can expect to learn includes:

1. Why media companies need to start thinking like software companies

2. Why engagement and retention should be your biggest priorities

3. Nine engagement & #retention KPIs you should be tracking regardless if you're an ad-supported or subscription-based service.

4. How the OTT marketing funnel works

Deck: How to keep your subscribers from hurling their remote at the TV

We recently presented a workshop titled "How to keep your subscribers from hurling their remote at the TV". To attract, grow, and retain subscribers on platforms you own, scaling empathy across each touchpoint, including marketing campaigns, not only keeps consumers from launching the remote, but it is also the key to surviving the streaming wars.

Come grab a copy of the deck we presented, which delves into:

  1. Why OTT brands must focus on product experiences vs. relying on distribution or become faced-with both revenue leakage and data loss

  2. Why MAU is a vanity metric & how to grow subscribers/viewers with customer-centric KPIs

  3. Specific examples citing who is doing it right, and which brands have ample room for improvement

To explore partnership opportunities with The Streaming Wars newsletter, contact TheStreamingWars@43twenty.tv

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Curated by 43Twenty founder Kirby Grines.

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