ESPN+: PPV in a streaming world
Live sports can be a major driver of user acquisition for Premium SVOD services (link). Questions abound concerning the best ways to monetize sports fans and rights in the streaming world:
- Are sports fans willing to pay more?
- Will sports fans translate to loyal SVOD Subscribers?
The Walt Disney Company has embraced in-app purchases on top of subscription fees — with Premier Access on Disney+ and UFC PPV Events on ESPN+. Analyzing both the purchase behavior and subsequent loyalty of ESPN+ Subscribers yields an interesting trend.
ANTENNA has observed that ESPN+ Subscribers who purchased a UFC PPV event were more loyal than those who did not. Whether by cause or effect, ESPN+ seems to have found a group of power users who are both willing to pay more for exclusive content and are more loyal to their Subscriptions.
This trend holds true across all ESPN+ plan types:
- Disney Bundle: UFC PPV purchasers were +6pts better retained
- ESPN+ Standalone (Annual): UFC PPV purchasers were +20pts better retained
- ESPN+ Standalone (Monthly): UFC PPV purchasers were +24pts better retained
The cohort of ESPN+ Subscribers who do purchase UFC PPV events contribute higher revenue per user and are more loyal to their Subscriptions than ESPN+ Subscribers who do not purchase UFC PPV events. ANTENNA will continue to observe the dynamics of which users gravitate to those offerings and how that might tell a story about future behavior.
Brendan Brady is a Content Strategy Associate at ANTENNA, a measurement and analytics company providing insight into purchase behavior and subscription metrics across the new media landscape.