As weeks look to turn into months of lockdown around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, Starz is seeing a surge of sign-ups to its digital platforms and more as viewers seek more Power and Outlander.
Data reveals a 45% jump in audience on the Starz App in the March 14-23 period compared to the 10 days before. On linear TV, the March 22 “Better To Marry Than Burn” episode of Outlander hit a Season 5 high with 12% rise in viewers over the previous week to 823,000 tuning in.
However, in this time of sequestered households, it is the Starz App that is proving a magnet of sorts.
A pioneer of sorts among networks and long established as allowing subscribers an early offering of the Courtney Kemp created Power and more, the app also saw a leap of 142% in terms of new sign-ups over the same period compared to the previous week and a bit, with a 38% increase in looks at original series like the Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan starring show.
Previously projected by the Jeff Hirsch-led premium cabler to hit around 6 million subscribers by the end of the fiscal year, the $8.99 a month app looks to already have superseded that as more and more isolated at home eyeballs look for comfort viewing. With a total global reach of around 8.6 million subscribers as of last quarter, the Starz App is likely to have gone well over 10 million in recent days.
That period of March 3 – 13 was of course also just where California, Washington state and New York State started advocating social distancing to quell spread of the virus and restricting large gatherings. The March 14 – 23 period saw stay at home orders and a culling of the workplace to only essential services go into effect over much of the Western world as confirmed case of COVID-19 started to surge.
No big surprise, right now, the current fifth season of Outlander is the most watched original series on the app, according to data obtained by Deadline. The first season of the now concluded Power, which debuted in 2014, has seen a “noticeable increase,” says a cable source. Set to move into a quartet of spinoffs over the next year or so following its Season 6 finale of February 9, Power is picking up significant viewership for its second season digitally and is among the most watched series on the app in besieged Spain, France, Brazil and Mexico.
Outside the increasingly coronavirus strained Fortress America, the StarzPlay international streaming service has seen double digits week-to-week upticks in the European lockdowns of the UK (14%+), France (85%+), hard hit Italy (56%+) and Spain (121%+). Correspondingly, this past week the StarzPlay app had growth of 51% on average across Western Europe compared to the week before.
Of course, like everyone else, Starz has had to shutter production on the likes of Power Book II: Ghost and more due to the ever-expanding coronavirus – which hit nearly 600,000 confirmed cases around the world today, with almost 27,000 deaths in total. One of those confirmed cases is a Power Book II: Ghost crew member, as Deadline revealed on March 20.
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