Succession is projected to drive $850M in revenue to HBO, its finale will leave a gap that needs to be filled

31 May, 2023

There was strong momentum going into the Sunday’s series finale of Succession. Last week’s penultimate episode drove a record level of demand for the show which peaked at 70 times the demand for the average series. More broadly, the final season of Succession has been the most in-demand across its four-season run, a testament to the critically acclaimed HBO series’ ability to grow interest season-over-season at a time when most multi-season series lose steam over time.


Unfortunately for fans, Sunday night marked the end of Succession’s storied run. Considering increasing demand for the series over the years, an elite off-season decay rate that doesn’t see viewership taper off as significantly compared to other series when new episodes are no longer airing, and its ability to acquire and retain subscribers, Parrot Analytics’ Content Valuation analysis estimates that Succession is on pace to contribute a staggering $850 million in revenue to HBO by 2027 with four seasons. 

A hypothetical fifth season would have generated a projected $237 million in revenue on top of this for the company, according to our forecast. Considering an estimated production budget of $90 millionSuccession would have continued turning a tidy profit for HBO that would have impressed even Logan Roy.


Such totals reflect the show’s strong appeal as Succession is among the top 0.2% most in-demand shows in the US over the last 90 days.  If we want to further understand the value of Succession to HBO and Max we can break down its impact into an acquisition and retention component based on whether Succession viewers are coming from off-platform content and if they are sticking around to watch other HBO/Max content.  

Based on the viewing patterns of the Succession audience, we can attribute 70% of its value to its ability to acquire new subscribers and 30% to the show’s ability to retain users and prevent them from churning. If we apply this breakdown to the opportunity cost of forgoing a fifth season ($237M) this means HBO will need to find about 965K gross subscriptions and reduce monthly churn by about 0.03% to make up for the lack of a new season of Succession.


Methodology Note: The revenue contribution of a show in a given quarter and region is estimated using the correlation between demand (as measured by Parrot Analytics) and platform streaming revenue as reported in corporate earnings. Considering the nearly 1:1 relationship between demand and subscriber growth, we can measure how much money each title contributed to the platform’s revenue. Taking into account demand growth over time and other metrics related to a show's ability to acquire and retain subscribers, we can project the future revenue contributions of this show and the overall valuation over a certain time period.

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