Coronavirus Quarantines Expected to Up Global SVOD Subs 5% In 2020

With an increasingly captive audience due to quarantine efforts worldwide to halt the spread of the coronavirus, new data from Strategy Analytics contends the forecast for global streaming video subscriptions will increase by 5% in 2020.

The London-based research firm now projects 949 million paid subscriptions globally by the end of 2020, an increase of 47 million from earlier forecasts.

Longer term, the forecast predicts that paid SVOD subscriptions will grow by 621 million between 2019 and 2025, reaching 1.43 billion. Currently, China and the United States combined account for nearly two-thirds (65%) of paid SVOD subscriptions globally, however, as these markets mature and approach market saturation and paid subscriptions, particularly in Southeast Asia grow, their share of global SVOD subscriptions will fall to 55% in 2025.

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“One significant factor affecting future SVOD growth is the impact of the coronavirus in both the short and long term,” Michael Goodman, director of TV & Media Strategies, said in a statement. “In the near term the coronavirus will actually boost SVOD subscriptions, as well as viewing of these services, as an ever growing number of consumers adopt social distancing or are forced into quarantine.”

Goodman said long-term effects of the virus on SVOD depend on the length of the pandemic and resulting economic damage. As businesses shut down and individuals are laid off consumers will alter how they spend money on essential and non-essential services.

Strategy Analytics said China would remain the largest SVOD market with 438 million paid subs in 2025, up from 131 million from 2019. The U.S. will follow with 342 million subs, up from 125 million from 2019.

With nearly three-quarters of U.S. TV households subscribing to one or more SVOD service the domestic SVOD market is becoming saturated, according to Goodman.

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“With U.S. SVOD households continuing to add additional services such as CBS All Access, Disney+, and the soon-to-launch HBO Max, the total number of SVOD subscriptions in the U.S. will continue to grow,” he said.

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