One of the big factors in allowing people to ‘cut the cord’ on their cable subscriptions in recent years has been the growth of not just online-only streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, but standalone streaming services from the major networks both free-paid and cable.
These allowed you to access the content of those networks, ad-free and without a cable subscription. CBS was the first to test the waters with CBS All Access in late 2014, with Showtime, HBO (via HBO Now) and Starz following suit.
Recently Disney was the latest to announce plans for their own equivalent, while Warner Brothers is working on one for all their DC content. Subscriber numbers for the existing services so far continue to grow, but they remain small fry at this point.
In an analyst report this week, Variety reveals that of the four, HBO Now is in front with more than three million subscribers. Showtime and Starz are battling for second with two million, and CBS is in fourth with one-and-a-half million. Through some calculations they figure HBO Now is closing in on generating nearly $100 million per quarter for the network – making up around 5%-6% of HBO’s revenue and and 1% of parent Time Warner’s revenue per quarter.
For the smaller cablers, the result is more notable with their estimates pegging Showtime and Starz’s services generating 10% and 7% of their respective company revenue.
Though still small, these contributions are important with streaming account for much of the revenue growth for these companies – HBO Now’s revenue is said to be five times the company’s total rate of growth and “more than offset the decline in the rest of the business”.