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STARZ Streaming Subscribers Exceed Linear Subscribers, As It Hits 10 Million in U.S. and 16.7 Million Globally

Jason Gurwin

While things may be changing for STARZ, with their major output deal from Sony shifting to Netflix in 2022, they continue to bring in new subscribers.

As of the end of March 2021 (their Q4 FY2021), STARZ reported that domestic OTT subscribers increased to 10 million, up 500K from last quarter. Globally (including STARZPLAY Arabia), they added 2.1 million subscribers, reaching 16.7 million subscribers (up 69% year-over-year).

With 29.5 Million global subscribers, the company now has more streaming subscribers than those who subscribe to the linear channels (12.8 million).

STARZ

STARZ offers a subscription video streaming service that gives access to content on STARZ without the need of a cable subscription. With your subscription, you’ll get access to all of their current originals like Outlander, Vida, and Power.

With your subscription, you’ll also get access to their critically acclaimed catalog of previous shows, as well as past seasons of shows like “Friday Night Lights”, “The Bernie Mac Show”, “ALF”, and “Miami Vice” and “Knight Rider.”

STARZ also has new-release films from Sony Pictures, which appear on the streaming service 7-8 months after they are in theaters. Every month they also have hundreds of additional older movies from major movie studios.

You can subscribe for 8,99 $ a month either directly from STARZ, or through Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels, or Roku Premium Subscriptions.

Netflix made a huge splash last month when it outbid its competition to land Sony's upcoming slate of films. The deal was seen as a blow to STARZ, the studio’s old streaming partner. But STARZ made a deliberate decision not to duke it out.

STARZ President and CEO Jeff Hirsch says his service finds its primary audience among women, and its shows like “Outlander” and “Power” cater to that audience. The programming strategy is to double down on content for those loyal viewers because STARZ is focused more on retention than acquisition.

As Hirsch explained at MoffettNathanson’s Media & Communications Summit, the big new titles often draw in a large audience, but since STARZ offers a free trial, many users might sign up, watch the film, and then vanish.

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.”

“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.”

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