Starz Says ‘Power Book II: Ghost’ Drives Spike In New Signups, Sets Viewership Record On Starz App


Lionsgate-owned Starz said the season premier of Power Book II: Ghost, the first new series in the ‘Power Universe’ from executive producers Courtney A. Kemp and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, drove a handful of records for the platform.

Subscriber acquisition rose 42% in the first week after the Sept. 6 premiere of the Kemp-created series, Starz said Wednesday. Minutes watched rose 91%, with 31% more subscribers viewing and customer engagement 12% above the previous high.

Viewership was 36% higher than the final season premiere of original series Power last summer.

The premiere was also the top performing series across the Starzplay International streaming platform in several markets including the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Brazil.

Starz said ratings on the Sunday premiere were up notably compared to the previous four weeks with a 78% lift in total day, 156% lift in prime time, and significant growth across OTT platforms in addition to the app.

It didn’t provide the viewership numbers.

As of the end of last quarter, Starz had 7.4 million domestic OTT subscribers and 11.4 million globally.

Starz president and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch discussed Starz’ growth at the Goldman Sachs media conference Wednesday.

Lionsgate acquired Starz four years ago and Hirsh described its transformation from a domestic linear network into “a data-driven in global streaming company,” anticipating global OTT subs will outpace linear in the next two quarters and revenue will follow. In the U.S., Starz has migrated to la carte “so our incentives are aligned with the traditional linear partners,” he said.

Starz has also continued to narrow its focus. “What we saw is that women were really driving our business — women and African American women, Hirsch said. Behind the camera, eleven of 16 showrunners on Starz’ series are women, of which five are Black.

Aside from Ghost, Starz launched P-Valley and Hightown during COVID. The latter two were completed before. (It started shooting pickups on just-premiered Ghost in New York last week.

The Girlfriend Experience is halfway through production in the U.K. and new wrestling series Heels underway in Atlanta. Hirsch said Starz plans to start shooting two more series October.

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