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iFOLLOW: Encouraging figures for the Blues

Streaming service update from Nigel Clibbens

30 October 2020

With some extremely encouraging figures coming from our iFollow streaming service, chief executive Nigel Clibbens gave us an update following the ninth game of the league season, at home to Morecambe on Tuesday night:

In my first update after five games I said that over the coming weeks we hoped that more and more fans would start to use iFollow, and be there in spirit supporting the team. 

I am really pleased to report that we are seeing that happen.

iFollow is no substitute for being there in person, but it makes a difference to us, and I think the fans are really enjoying the football they are seeing. 

It’s still very early in the season, but the feedback we are getting is that you are excited to see the team and players developing and, of course, to be able to watch them win!

In terms of subscribers, the numbers of paid streams is consistently growing with every game, which is great to see. 

We have had a total of 6,844 paid CUFC streams. This gives income to the club of around £50,000 from our nine League Two games so far, after adjusting for payments to host clubs when we play away. 

That’s an average of 760 paid CUFC streams per game.

On top of that, for every home game we have around 300 more season ticket holders who are also streaming the game [who have opted to take iFollow instead of a refund].

Sadly we also know that ‘pirate’ streaming is increasing, which is a concern. Again we appeal to fans to back the team and use the official iFollow service.

The feedback on the quality of the iFollow stream from fans is getting better, and shows they have growing confidence in the service and are becoming more familiar with how it works.

The positive comments are growing and the negative experiences remain low. That’s really important. Of course our start to the season and seeing a winning team that is creating lots of chances and working very hard is good to watch, and that does make a positive difference.

The key message is clear - our fans are showing support for the team in increasing numbers, they want to be part of it and with them in spirit, even if they can’t be there in person.

With three games in eight days week after week, the financial cost builds up, so the growing support is really appreciated. 

A big thank you to everyone, and let’s see if we can break the 1,000 stream mark, for the first time, for the Exeter game tomorrow.

Get your Exeter iFollow live streaming pass HERE.

We will do a further update in November.

+++++++

We now have data from nine League Two matches for iFollow UK domestic streams (four at home and five away).

The UK paid subscriptions are as follows:

Home Paid streams  Change
Southend* 486  
Barrow* 961  
Colchester 744  
Morecambe 898 +21%
Total 3089  
Average - 772    
     
Away**  Paid streams Change
Cambridge 643  
Scunthorpe 619 -4%
Port Vale 684 +11%
Oldham 847 +24%
Grimsby 962 +14%
Total 3755  
Average - 751    

Home games

The number of paid UK domestic streams for the latest home win on Tuesday night against Morecambe games was 898, up +21% on the last home win against Colchester.

The four homes wins in a row this season have now been seen on a total of 3,089 paid streams by CUFC fans, plus the 300 season ticket holders per game.

We now rank third (previously fourth after the first two home games) in League Two for the highest paid home streams per game at 772 (some clubs have very high numbers of free home passes given to season ticket holders, meaning paid home streams are low). 

Eight clubs are giving free home passes to close to a 1,000 season ticket holders each match. This is earning us on average around £9,500 per home game, including the payments to us from the away teams.

Away games

All streams for all away clubs are paid for, there are no complementary passes for season ticket holders. 

Our away game streams have grown consistently every match and reached a peak so far of 962 for the Grimsby game, +14% up on the last away game. We have not yet broken the 1,000 barrier.

We have now improved to rank ninth (previously eleventh after three away games) in League Two for the highest average paid away streams per game, at 751.

This is earning us on average around £2,000 per away game (after our payment to the home teams).

The rest of League Two

Bolton have by far the most streams in every category due to the size of their fan base - every game they record the highest numbers by a very significant margin.

But if you look beyond them at the rest of League Two there are some interesting features.

  • If you look at the 100 League Two games so far, CUFC has three of the top eight highest numbers of paid streams for home clubs [every one of our home games except Southend* is in the top eight]. Home streams very much reflect how many season ticket holders have been given free passes – and for us that is one of the lowest in League Two.
  • Seven teams have already broken the 1,000 streams barrier for an away game [CUFC hasn’t to date, but we are getting closer].
  • Half the division are not reaching 500 away streams on average, so are earning nothing from away games, with all their away stream income going to the home club.  We have been over 500 for every away game.

Note

*numbers distorted by individual fixture factors – Southend very low as we had 1,000 fans in the stadium and Barrow high due to the special interest in the game.

**The income from the first 500 streams bought by CUFC fans for away games (£8 x 500 = £4,000) is paid to the home club. But by the same mechanism we get the value of the first 500 from every away team coming to Brunton Park. We have to pay Cambridge, Southend and Port Vale £4,000 each, but get £4,000 from Southend and Barrow. Over the season the net effect of this is neutral, if we sell at least 500 streams per away game.


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