News Corp streaming revenues up US$188m as Foxtel subscribers grow 40%

Revenue from News Corp’s streaming video on demand (SVOD) services saw growth of US$188 million, or 10% growth for the financial year ending 30 June, 2021.

That was driven by a significant increase in Foxtel’s paid subscriber numbers, which increased 40% to 3.891 million, largely fuelled by growing numbers on Binge and Kayo.

1.885 million subscribers were residential or commercial broadcast Foxtel subscribers, while 2.006 million were subscribers to Kayo, Binge and Foxtel Now.

Foxtel’s BINGE

Kayo ended the financial year with 1.054 million paid subscribers, up from 419,000 paid subscribers the year prior. Binge meanwhile had 733,000 paid subscribers, compared to 56,000 at the conclusion of FY21.

Segment EBITDA for FY21 was up US$36 million, or 11%, across News Corp’s streaming products.

News Corp also revealed that lower expenses related to steaming products were offset by increased investment and $35 million in sports programming rights and production costs. This was driven by the absence of live sports in Q4 of 2020 as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

In Q4 specifically, streaming revenues were up 33%, an increase of $135 million year-on-year.

News Corp chief executive, Robert Thomson, said: “ We also saw record subscriber growth at Foxtel, where, at the end of June, our paid streaming subscribers reached over 2 million, an increase year-on-year of 155 percent.

“That sterling performance has clearly given us much optionality as we consider Foxtel’s future, which is certainly bright, given that revenues rose 33% in the fourth quarter. ”

The streaming update came as News Corp revealed its “most profitable” financial year in its current form, with revenues rising 4% in the full year and up 30% in the fourth quarter. Revenues were US$9.36 billion, compared to US$9.01 billion in the prior year.

Foxtel recently announced the hire of former editor-in-chief Kate de Brito to lead work on a news streaming service, reportedly to be called NewsFlash

NewsFlash is set to give subscribers access to live and on-demand news and opinion from Sky News Australia, while there have been suggestions it could also feature programming from Fox News and CNN. It is expected to be released in Q4 of this year.


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