The Messi Magic: How Superstar Signings Can Turbocharge Streaming Service Subscriptions

November 8, 2023 • Sports OTT
ViewLift Team


The world of streaming services has witnessed remarkable growth in recent years, and as this competitive landscape continues to evolve, innovative strategies are essential to stand out. The signing of Lionel Messi by Inter Miami FC has created a global frenzy among football fans, presenting a golden opportunity for streaming services to attract new subscribers. In this article, we explore how football superstars like Messi can significantly boost streaming service subscriptions and the broader impact of these partnerships on the industry.

The Impact of Lionel Messi’s Move to Inter Miami FC

The signing of Lionel Messi by Inter Miami FC has had a profound impact on Major League Soccer (MLS) Season Pass subscriptions. The news of Messi’s arrival sparked immense interest among football fans, leading to a substantial increase in subscription numbers. The MLS Season Pass, which offers exclusive access to live matches and additional content, became even more enticing with the addition of Messi to the league.

Key statistics highlight the magnitude of Messi’s influence on streaming service subscriptions. Within days of the announcement, the MLS Season Pass witnessed a remarkable 40% increase in new subscribers. This surge in subscriptions can be attributed to the massive fan base that Messi commands, as fans eagerly anticipated watching him play in the U.S. Furthermore, the arrival of Messi in the MLS sparked international interest, leading to a surge in viewership from around the world.

The significance of Messi’s arrival in the U.S. and MLS cannot be overstated. It not only elevates the profile of the league but also opens up new markets and revenue streams. The excitement generated by Messi’s move to Inter Miami FC serves as a testament to the power of football superstars in driving streaming service subscriptions.

The Streaming Service Phenomenon

Understanding the impact of superstar signings on streaming service subscriptions requires recognition of the role of streaming services in modern entertainment. In recent years, streaming platforms have revolutionized the way we consume media, with on-demand content becoming the norm. This shift has led viewers away from traditional television channels and towards streaming services.

The competitive landscape of streaming platforms is intense, with numerous players vying for subscribers’ attention. To differentiate themselves, streaming services must offer unique and compelling content that sets them apart from the competition. This is where partnerships with football superstars like Messi come into play. By providing exclusive access to behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and documentaries, streaming services can offer a more immersive and personalized experience for fans.

Exclusive content and events play a crucial role in attracting and retaining subscribers. Streaming platforms that can offer live matches, post-game analysis, and exclusive player interviews have a distinct advantage over traditional sports channels. The ability to provide a comprehensive football experience, coupled with the star power of players like Messi, creates a winning formula for streaming services.

The Messi Effect on Apple TV+

The impact of Lionel Messi’s arrival in the U.S. and MLS was felt beyond the increase in MLS Season Pass subscriptions. Apple TV+, a leading streaming service, experienced a significant boost in viewership and brand recognition due to its association with Messi and Inter Miami FC.

Apple TV+ had close to 1 million subscribers before Messi’s arrival, but that number has almost doubled since he joined the league. This is a significant increase in viewership, and it is likely due to Messi’s popularity.

Inter Miami’s owner claimed the “Messi Effect,” stating that the signing had a transformative impact on the team and the league. This effect extended to the streaming service, with Apple TV+ experiencing a 30% increase in Spanish viewership following Messi’s arrival. This surge in viewership translated into a substantial increase in subscriptions for Apple TV+.

The matches featuring Messi became some of the most-watched in MLS Season Pass history. Three matches, in particular, attracted record-breaking viewership, showcasing the immense popularity and draw of the superstar. Messi’s status as one of the greatest soccer players of all time undoubtedly contributed to the heightened interest in these matches.

Exclusive Coverage for Superstar Signings

To fully capitalize on the Messi Effect, MLS Season Pass enhanced its production value for Inter Miami’s matches. The streaming service invested in advanced camera technology, including Steadicam and super-slow-motion cameras, to provide viewers with a more immersive experience. These enhancements allowed fans to witness the game from unique angles and enjoy enhanced replays, further heightening their engagement.

Apple’s 10-year deal with Major League Soccer further solidified the streaming service’s commitment to providing exclusive coverage of superstar signings. This long-term partnership ensures that Apple TV+ remains the go-to streaming platform for fans who want to catch all the action surrounding Messi and other high-profile players. The investment in exclusive coverage demonstrates the understanding of the importance of sports and entertainment in driving subscriptions.

Lessons for Streaming Services

The impact of superstar signings on streaming service subscriptions cannot be ignored. The “Messi Magic” experienced by MLS Season Pass and Apple TV+ serves as a valuable lesson for other streaming platforms looking to boost their subscriber base. To emulate this success, streaming services must prioritize exclusive and compelling content.

By offering behind-the-scenes documentaries, player interviews, and immersive match footage, streaming services can create an experience that goes beyond what traditional sports channels can offer. Fans want to feel connected to their favorite players, and streaming platforms have the unique opportunity to provide that connection through exclusive content.
Sports and entertainment play a crucial role in driving subscriptions. The allure of watching superstar athletes like Messi in action is a powerful motivator for fans to subscribe to a streaming service. By capitalizing on this desire and providing a comprehensive football experience, streaming platforms can differentiate themselves and attract a dedicated subscriber base.


The “Messi Effect” on streaming service subscriptions demonstrates the immense power of football superstars in driving subscriber growth. The signing of Lionel Messi by Inter Miami FC resulted in a significant increase in MLS Season Pass subscriptions and boosted viewership for Apple TV+. Streaming platforms that can offer exclusive content and events related to superstar signings have a distinct advantage in the competitive streaming landscape.

As the digital entertainment industry continues to evolve, partnerships between streaming services and football superstars are likely to become more prevalent. The ability to leverage the fame and influence of players like Messi can be a game-changer for streaming platforms, attracting new subscribers and solidifying brand recognition. The future of streaming platforms and superstar signings holds great potential for both the entertainment industry and fans alike, creating a symbiotic relationship that benefits all parties involved.

In conclusion, the “Messi Effect” serves as a testament to the evolving landscape of digital entertainment and sports partnerships. Streaming services that embrace these partnerships and prioritize exclusive and compelling content will continue to thrive in an increasingly competitive market. The power of football superstars to boost streaming service subscriptions is undeniable, and the industry is poised to capitalize on this phenomenon in the years to come.