Sports drives STARZPLAY to fivefold growth in monthly subs base | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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The AFC Asian Qualifiers football competition and ICC T20 Men’s Cricket World Cup have been at the forefront of seeing MENA region SVOD service STARZPLAY record a 479% annual increase in subscriptions.
STARZPLAY Sports Performance 23Feb2022
And in addition to a 161% increase from the highest growth achieved during the lockdown peak in 2020, the company saw average revenue per user has also soar by 30% as users subscribed to more sports packages, particularly Premier Sports League (live rugby) and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. The sporting leagues also created an influx of organic demand leading to a 41% reduction in the cost of acquiring subscriptions.

STARZPLAY is available in 20 countries across the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan. The UAE continues to be the largest growth market for STARZPLAY with the highest percentage increase in signups followed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Cricket dominated the demand for sporting events particularly the ICC T20 event with a remarkable 968% increase in the volume of subscriptions in the UAE in October compared with the pre-cricket monthly average in the same period last year. Qatar witnessed an 870% increase and Saudi Arabia witnessed a 49% rise.

During the ICC Men's T20 World Cup the service showed significant gains in terms of daily sign-ups, consumption and play time in minutes. Daily consumption increased by 145% during the ICC T20 semi-final from current daily average and 17% from the lockdown peak in April 2020. Concurrent plays were at an all-time high of a 380% over increase from an average weekend. The ICC Men's T20 World Cup also witnessed one of the biggest sports matches in the cricket world with the India vs Pakistan match being followed by millions of fans around the world. STARZPLAY witnessed a 123% uplift in the daily consumption minutes compared with the pre-cricket daily average.

“Live sports have the power to bring people together. We saw an untapped opportunity to invest in live sports, which has tremendously benefitted our business as well as helped transform the OTT landscape,” said STARZPLAY CEO Maaz Sheikh commenting on the yearly performance. “For the first time ever in the region a streaming platform hosted the power-packed ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. The league has been a huge success with STARZPLAY breaking records of the last six years for the number of single-day signups, revenue and concurrent users. Our [research] shows that STARZPLAY has truly evolved as the streaming platform of choice for sports lovers, and we will continue to innovate in this niche sector to drive our growth and leadership in the region.”

On a sour note, the company conceded that piracy affected app downloads and ranking during the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup. During the T20 Cricket World Cup, numerous illegal apps were gaining traction leading to licensed streaming service suffering millions of dollars in loss.

“Despite understanding the purchasing power of our customers as well as customising our services, an increasing number of viewers turned to illegitimate services. As the leading player in the industry, we feel it’s imperative to highlight the concerns surrounding piracy to mitigate the overall impact on the industry’s revenue,” concluded Maaz.