What’s an SVOD service worth?

The question: What should a niche-targeted video streaming service cost?  The answer: $8.22 per month.

That, at least, is the average for a collective of more than 40 streaming services that vie for subscribers outside of the category’s mainstream powers like HBO Max, Peacock, and Netflix.  These “Tier 2” services include the likes of AMC Networks’ horror-themed Shudder ($5.99/mo); the family-friendly PureFlix ($12.99/mo); and the A+E Networks tear-jerker movie collective Lifetime Movie Club ($3.99/mo).

We’ve conducted a pricing analysis across 43 services for our dmi.tv® intelligence service, organizing the streamers into four pricing tiers, in order to provide some sense of retail price point alignment.

The largest of these baskets by number of participants is the $5-$10/mo category, where we identified 21 services spanning general entertainment (PBS Passport, Epix Now, and others); News (Fox Nation); sports (My Outdoor TV, PGA Tour Live); and animation (Crunchyroll, Funimation). The second-largest grouping, including 11 streaming services, are those priced at $5/mo or less. These entrants run a genre gamut including animation (Boomerang), documentary (CuriosityStream, History Vault), film (Magnolia Selects), and others. Rounding out the pricing quartet are services costing from $10-$15/mo (among them, Mubi, Criterion Channel, and YouTube Premium); and a trio of sports-centric services (DAZN, MLB.TV, NBA League Pass) topping the $19.99/mo mark for in-season subscriptions.

Next? The analysis suggests those angling to enter the niche streaming category will need to hinge their pricing decisions not just on ROI and profitability targets, but on the relative positioning with other like-minded services. For example, lifestyle/food services must be aware that Tastemade+ has set a hard-to-beat price point at $2.99/mo, whereas there may be more room to maneuver in the health/fitness category, as exemplified by the $11.99/mo price for the yoga and meditation service Gaia, whose parent Gaia Inc. recently reported 790,500 paying subscribers. At the least, the breadth of price points tells us there’s no easily identified formula for determining what a service should cost, other than what subscribers are willing to bear – and what the competition’s charging.

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