Sling TV is at its lowest variety of subscribers in 5 years


We’ve written about how streaming video isn’t a zero-sum sport, regardless of all of the headlines declaring that the Streaming Wars are in full swing. However that’s to not say that churn — the act of a subscriber bailing — isn’t very actual. It’s, and it’s one of many most important metrics streaming corporations fear about.

This brings us to Sling TV. Dad or mum firm Dish simply introduced its first-quarter 2023 earnings and with it, new subscriber numbers for Sling TV. That provides us 5 full years of knowledge — 21 whole quarters. And that knowledge is attention-grabbing for a few causes.

First is that Sling TV ended the quarter with its lowest variety of subscribers in 5 years, at 2.1 million on the finish of March 2023. That’s the least variety of subs going again as we’ve been in a position to simply observe it, which conveniently is true at 5 years.

However the different attention-grabbing factor is that Sling’s numbers actually haven’t deviated all that a lot previously 5 years. Whereas opponents like YouTube TV and Hulu With Stay TV have continued to climb — the previous reported greater than 5 million subs in June 2022, and the latter closed 2022 with 4.5 million — Sling has gave the impression to be content material mainly staying on the similar degree. Over the 21 quarters for which we’ve knowledge, Sling TV has averaged about 2.Four million subscribers. The latest quarter is the bottom, and Sling TV peaked at 2.686 million subs in September 2019.

Chart showing Sling TV subscribers by quarter from 2018 to 2023.

It’s value noting, a minimum of from a quarter-to-quarter perspective, that Dish says a ransomware assault that took down a lot of its public-facing on-line presence — although not its streaming service — apparently wasn’t responsible for the lack of a pair hundred thousand subscribers the primary three months of the 12 months. “The outages didn’t materially have an effect on [churn of] Sling TV subscribers,” the corporate stated in its Q1 earnings name.

It’s in all probability unsuitable to say that Sling TV has been ignored for the previous 5 years. It’s positively had its share of promoting, together with the double-entendre “Slingers” marketing campaign with real-life married couple Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, to the more moderen “Meet the Dad and mom” spots. And we additionally don’t have any perception into the recognition of Sling’s new FAST service, which provides up free content material in trade for you watching some promoting.

And Sling TV stays one of many extra inexpensive dwell TV streaming providers, a minimum of out of the gate, beginning at $40 a month for both the Sling Orange or Sling Blue plans or $55 if you’d like each. However that’ll get you fewer channels than you’ll get almost all of its opponents, and constructing out your Sling packages with add-ons will rapidly improve the month-to-month worth. Sling TV additionally lacks native channels, which probably retains some subscribers away.

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