SensorTower: US SVoD App Revenue Grew 77% in 2017

US consumer spending in the top 10 SVoD mobile apps grew 77% in 2017 to approximately $781 million on the App Store and Google Play, according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates. Furthermore, the data shows that year-on-year spending in these apps during the fourth quarter of 2017 grew nearly 88% to approximately $242 million, up from an estimated $129 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Netflix, the world’s top-earning app in 2017, led mobile SVoD spending in the US last year, growing about 113% year-on-year to just over $290 million. While its revenue growth was impressive, it was actually eclipsed by three of its fellow top 10 apps: CBS at 128%, Starz at 147%, and YouTube at 154%.

All of the top 10 subscription video apps, ranked below, witnessed year-on-year revenue growth of greater than 10%, with the most modest showing coming from WME-owned UFC, which saw its in-app spending climb about 14% from $7.7 million to $8.7 million.

Top US SVoD Apps by 2017 Revenue:

  1. Netflix
  2. YouTube
  3. HBO Now
  4. Hulu
  5. Starz
  6. At Bat
  7. Showtime
  8. Crunchyroll
  9. CBS
  10. UFC

HBO Now’s gross US revenue spiked at approximately $67.3 million in the third quarter of 2017, during the airing of Game of Thrones’ seventh season, posting a single-day record of $2.6 million, but declined to about $53.2 million in the fourth quarter. At least initially, the network managed to retain more new subscribers who had signed up primarily to watch the series than in previous years.

CBS’ mobile SVoD app was a standout in that its more than doubling of revenue year-on-year was driven primarily by one original program, Star Trek: Discovery, which brought a flood of new subscribers to the network’s CBS All Access service beginning in the third quarter of 2017. Spending in the app increased 105% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2017, which is when the series premiered, to about $4.1 million, up from $2 million the year before. Its revenue grew 33% quarter-on-quarter between the third and fourth quarters of 2017, to about $5.4 million, despite Discovery going on hiatus from mid-November.

In comparison to the 77% growth of the top SVoD apps, overall US consumer spending on the App Store and Google Play increased about 30% last year, reaching approximately $14.4 billion. Worldwide, gross in-app revenue neared $60 billion, growing 35% over 2016.