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STARZ Reaches 9.5 Million OTT Subscribers in U.S.

Jason Gurwin

More people staying at home have resulted in big spikes for streamers.

As of the end of 2020, STARZ reported that domestic OTT subscribers increased to 9.5 million, up 300K from last quarter. Globally (including STARZPLAY Arabia), they added 900K subscribers, reaching 14.6 million subscribers.

Parent Lionsgate reported in February the Starz cable/streamer had 6.3 million OTT customers.

In September, Starz President & CEO Jeffrey Hirsch during a webcast held as part of the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Virtual Conference, said, “The business has really transitioned to what I like to call a true global streaming company, that really looks more like a Netflix and Disney+ than anything else.”

Within the next two quarters, he expects the number of global Starz over-the-top (OTT) subscribers to exceed linear (cable and satellite) subscribers. “The numbers reflect that “our content is working,” Hirsch said during the conference, pointing to series like “Outlander,” “Hightown,” “P-Valley,” and “Ghost.”

One thing that won’t change, Hirsch said, is Starz’s focus on programming that caters to women and to Black audiences. “We’ve always been that premium add on service,” he said, providing “content that is adult in nature, non ad-supported deep storylines, authentic in terms of letting our creators take the story to places that you can’t when you’re an advertising-based business. And we’d like to say it’s content that people are really willing to pay for.”