A Streaming Blunder Leads to 3,500% Growth in Downloads for These Apps
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While browsing the top apps in the US I noticed an icon I haven't seen at the top of the chart before. That icon was for the Paramount Network app. And before you ask, the answer is no, Paramount+ didn't rebrand while you weren't looking.
Paramount Network is another app from Paramount which lets you watch some shows. The selection is pretty limited and overall it's not that attractive. So... how did it rise to the top of the App Store?
The easy answer is easy - a new season of an exclusive show dropped. But!
The 5th season of Yellowstone rolled out on the 13th. The show was made by Paramount, so everyone expected to stream it on Paramount+. Downloads rose on the big day, but... it turns out this season is already owned by a different studio - NBC Universal, the owners of Peacock.
Downloads for Peacock rose a bit because this wasn't at all intuitive (or well-communicated), but we're not done yet.
It turns out Peacock can't legally stream the show, even though it has the rights, until all episodes air.
The only way to stream Yellowstone is via Paramount Network, an old-fashioned companion app that comes with a very limited set of shows and requires a cable subscription to access.
On an average day, Paramount Network gets a couple thousand downloads. Paramount+ gets almost 30K downloads on an average day, according to our estimates.
On the 13th, downloads of Paramount+ grew 5x to more than 125K. Downloads stayed high on the 14th, but as more people figured out where to really stream Yellowstone, downloads of Paramount Network grew to over 210K, according to our App Intelligence. That's a 100x increase!
Downloads dropped on the 15th but are still incredibly high.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, the streaming race isn't over just yet and content is still king. I don't expect that to change any time soon. I do expect to see the end of such complicated agreements for original content though because this was a huge missed opportunity for Paramount+ and probably a little hit for the brand.
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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.