November 7, 2018
Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, in that order, lead Parks Associates updated list of the top 10 subscription over-the-top (OTT) video services in the U.S. market. The list, released Nov. 7, is based on estimated number of subscribers.
The full list in order is:
- Prime Video Users (Amazon Prime)
- Hulu (SVOD)
- HBO Now
- CBS All Access
- Sling TV
- DirecTV Now
“Which company is the leading OTT video subscription service remains a topic of debate,” said Brett Sappington, senior director of research, Parks Associates, in a statement. “According to our estimates, Amazon has more Prime Members than Netflix has subscribers. However, when you consider only those Prime Members that use Prime Video, Netflix is the largest. Hulu remains the third largest but continues to grow its subscriber base.”
The firm noted the rise of a second tier of OTT video services from services with recognized brands, including several with high profile original content. Online pay-TV services Sling TV and DirecTV Now round out the top 10, ahead of similar services Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV and PlayStation Vue. Online pay TV has been one of the fastest growing segments in the OTT video space, with aggressive marketing by all, according to Parks.
“HBO, Starz, Showtime, and CBS All Access demonstrate the powerful attractiveness of original content through series like ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Star Trek: Discovery,’” Sappington said in a statement. “This pattern suggests new services such as WarnerMedia’s DC Universe and the forthcoming streaming service from Disney could achieve success quickly.”
The top subscription sports OTT video services are MLB.TV, WWE Network and ESPN+. MLB.TV continues to lead the sports OTT subscription category, benefiting from its long tenure as a streaming service and popularity among dedicated baseball fans, according to Parks. WWE also has a dedicated fan base and publicly reported having more than 1.2 million U.S. subscribers at the end of Q3 2018, according to Parks. ESPN+ is a newcomer to the OTT video marketplace but recently announced that it had exceeded 1 million subscribers.
Other findings include:
- OTT video subscription penetration has reached 64% of U.S. broadband households, with more than two-thirds subscribing only to one of the top three services, Netflix, Prime Video, or Hulu;
- The online pay-TV audience is similar to the OTT audience — they are younger and quicker to adopt new technologies when compared to traditional pay-TV households; and
- Over the past three years, OTT churn rates have gradually fallen each year from 31% of OTT subscriptions cancelled each year in 2015 to 28% in 2018.