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fuboTV Confirms Quarterly Subscriber Drop, Due to ‘Seasonality of Sports’


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fuboTV had 287,316 paid subscribers at the close of the first quarter of 2020. While this represents an increase when compared to the same quarter of the year before, it also highlights a decrease in the number of subscribers compared to the previous quarter.

fuboTV and FaceBank Group merged in April and shortly afterwards, FaceBank announced that fuboTV had 315,789 paid subscribers at the close of 2019. As a result, the service closed out March of 2020 with around 28,000 less subscribers than it had at the start of the year.

While the service saw a quarter-over-quarter subscriber drop, FaceBank opted to focus on the 37 percent increase year over year. Interestingly, this is the exact same increase FaceBank announced when it confirmed the 2019 fourth quarter 315,789 figure. Regardless, FaceBank also confirmed a fuboTV increase in pretty much every other area, including overall revenue and Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).

fubo first quarter 2020
Source: FaceBank Group

Other fuboTV subscriber behaviors

In addition to announcing the number of subscribers and the general good performance overall, the announcement explains that in the first quarter of the year, fuboTV users collectively streamed 107.2 million hours, representing a 120-percent year-over-year increase. However, this overall total not only included paid subscribers, but also those on a free trial that didn’t migrate to a paid customer status during the quarter.

Another interesting metric is that the average monthly active user was noted as having watched 120 hours of fuboTV per month. Once again, this was another area that represented a year-over-year increase, in this case, to the tune of 52 percent.

fuboTV’s subscriber problem

While all the main figures are heading in the right direction from the company’s point of view, fuboTV should be concerned about the subscribers. In the announcement, the company did point to the “seasonality of sports” as one of the prisms that the data should be viewed through. As an example, pointing out how sports content typically results in increased subscribers during the later quarters of the year, compared to the earlier quarters.

Our key metrics should be considered on a year-over-year basis given the seasonality of sports content. Sports content has historically contributed to higher subscription revenue and subscriber additions in the third and fourth quarters, and slower growth in the first and second quarters

FaceBank Group

While that might be true, even at the close of 2019 when the service enjoyed a subscriber high, fuboTV still massively trailed most of the other live TV streaming services, in terms of subscribers. Of course, the service has been making changes recently, including expanding its channel lineup, in a bid to appeal to mainstream users, as well as those focused on sports. However, it remains to be seen if those changes will have enough of a desired effect.

Then again, with YouTube TV recently – and significantly – increasing in price, and after many PlayStation Vue subscribers having likely migrated to YouTube TV, fuboTV might find its appeal increases for those consumers that are now considering their live TV streaming options.

Source: FaceBank Group

John Finn


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