November 18, 2020
Despite renewed competition from Disney+ and upstarts HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock, industry pioneer Netflix remains the top SVOD service, according to Parks Associates.
Dallas-based Parks said that recent entrants such as HBO Max, Apple TV+, and Disney+ have re-arranged the Top 10 list. Sling TV dropped out of the list, and with MLB.tv falling off as well, ESPN+ is the only sports-based service in the list. Despite all these changes, the top three included pioneers Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, in that order. Parks noted that NBCUniversal’s Peacock is starting to make inroads in terms of paid subscriptions, but currently the base for that service is mainly comprised of users of the free ad-supported tier.
“For many years, Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu have ruled the top of the subscription-based OTT service space,” Research director Steve Nason said in a statement. “However, with newer entrants and expanded offerings, that trend may be about to change. The big three and their main challengers have gone to market with varying content and distribution strategies, with the same goal in mind: reach elusive consumers with a compelling content offering and user experience to be a foundational essential service in an OTT subscriber’s service stack.”
After Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, the list includes No. 4 Disney+, No. 5 ESPN+, No. 6 HBO Max, No. 7 Apple TV+, No. 8 CBS All Access, No. 9 Showtime, and No. 10 Starz.
Parks Associates’ OTT Video Market Tracker tracks the content offerings, business strategies, and subscription numbers for OTT services in North America. The research firm reports that 78% of U.S. broadband households subscribe to at least one OTT service, up from 71% the previous year. The new report evaluates the emergence of new SVOD services recently launched and their potential impact on the market penetration and revenue of the current dominant services.
“The Walt Disney Company announced 10 million subscribers upon initial launch, which put Disney+ as fourth on the list, where it has remained for almost a year,” Nason said. “That shows how difficult it will be for any service to break into the ‘Big Three’ for OTT services. Partnerships are essential. For example, HBO Max will get a boost from its deal with Amazon to roll out its service on Amazon Fire TV devices.”