Video on Demand App Revenue Reaches $781 Million Last Year

Sensor Tower reports that the top video on demand apps raked in over $781 million last year, up 77% from a year prior. Revenue comes from the top subscription apps that are widely used by cord cutters to watch television and movies without high cable bills attached.

The report analyzed the top 10 subscription apps on Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

Sensor Tower uses their own estimates to analyze the revenue generated by apps. The data indicates that fourth-quarter spending rose to $242 million last year, up 88% from $129 million during the same period a year prior.

Netflix remains the top subscription video-on-demand service, with spending increasing by 113% year-over-year. Sensor estimates that users spent $290 million on the app last year, but notes that Netflix’s video on demand growth was eclipsed by other apps.

YouTube’s app had 154% revenue growth, Starz had 147% growth and CBS had 128% growth.

All of the top 10 apps in the analysis experienced year-over-year revenue growth of at least 10%. The UFC app, which remains the 10th most popular subscription video on demand app, experienced the lowest year-over-year growth of 14%. The UFC app’s revenue rose from $7.7 million a year prior to $8.7 million in 2017.

HBO’s NOW app shows signs of seasonal trends, with subscribers opting to subscribe to the service when their favorite show airs. Game of Thrones, season seven, was HBO’s flagship show this year causing the company’s app to have a revenue spike of $67.3 million in the third-quarter of the year.

The company’s revenue for a single day hit $2.6 million, breaking the single-day record, but the app experienced a sharp decline in the fourth-quarter of the year when Game of Thrones fans left the service. Revenue fell to $53.2 million in the final quarter of the year.

Sensor notes that HBO was able to retain subscribers that subscribe just to watch Game of Thrones slightly longer than in the past.

Star Trek: Discovery helped to push CBS’ mobile app higher this past year, with revenue doubling year-over-year. The series is attributed to the app’s growth, with fans flocking to the app as new subscribers during the third-quarter of 2017. Subscribers spent 105% more on the app year-over-year in the third quarter, with $4.1 million in revenue estimated.

Revenue during the same period a year prior was estimated to be just $2 million.

CBS’ app had an even more impressive final quarter of the year, experiencing 33% revenue growth quarter-over-quarter. Revenue grew to around $5.4 million in the final quarter of the year despite no new programming from Discovery, which went on hiatus.

CBS does offer select market NFL games, which further helped grow subscriber numbers.

Consumers in the United States are spending more on app stores as a whole, with a 30% increase on App Store and Google Play. The increase helped revenues reach $14.4 billion worldwide, with in-app purchases growing 35% to nearly $60 billion.

The reports note that the figures do not include refunds to people that cancelled services, nor is the data conclusive.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.