New direct-to-consumer services from Disney, Apple, Warner Media and NBCUniversal have the potential to grow the US SVOD market by 53 million subscriptions by 2023.
This is according to IHS Markit research, which claims that such growth would amount to a 25% increase in subscribers and would generate up to US$3.6 billion in incremental revenue over this time period.
“Subscriber growth of this magnitude assumes an aggressive strategy from all the major services,” said Dan Cryan, executive director of research and analysis, IHS Markit.
“This strategy could include making movies available earlier or bundling, either at no extra charge or as a low-cost add-on, with other products and services that already have large customer bases.
“Less aggressive policies would result in lower overall subscriber growth, but they would still expand the video subscription market.”
IHS expects Netflix and Amazon to continue to lead the US SVOD market for “the next few years”. However, it said that Apple could potentially catch up with Hulu by 2023 and predicted that a successful Disney service would also be among the top-tier US services by 2023.
In all scenarios, the research predicts that the market for pure-play video services will become “exceptionally competitive,” with a likelihood that high-quality content will soon not be enough to guarantee success.
“As the video subscription market grows and becomes more competitive in the long-term, the focus of the battle is likely to shift away from the questions about the available content, toward a discussion of the other assets these companies can leverage,” said Cryan.
“Examples include heavy cross-promotion on traditional TV channels, theme parks and other properties, or packaging with other services, like mobile phones.”