‘Big three’ continue to dominate US SVOD chart, but newer players having an impact

Netflix’s Tiger King

Netflix has once again emerged as the top subscription streamer in the US, but the impact of newer players is being felt in the market.

According to Parks Associate’s update list of the top 10 US SVOD services through to September 2020, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney-owned Hulu continue to make up the top three, while more recently launched streamers have rearranged the list.

Disney+ has emerged as the fourth largest US SVOD, with the company recently announcing that the service has a global total of 73 million subscribers.

A somewhat surprising entry in fifth is ESPN+, which has significantly benefited from being included in Disney’s US$12.99 streaming bundle which launched with Disney+ last year. It is the only sports streamer in the list, with MLB.tv falling out of the top ten.

WarnerMedia will be buoyed by HBO Max’s positioning in sixth place, and will hope that its recent launch on Amazon devices will help it enter the top five.

Elsewhere, despite a somewhat understated first year and relatively diminutive content library, Apple TV+ has quietly emerged as the country’s seventh largest SVOD. CBS All Access (which will be rebranded as mega-streamer Paramount+ in 2021) and Showtime make up eighth and ninth place, likely boosted by the US$9.99 bundle for Apple TV+ subscribers which launched in August.

The final entry into the top 10 is Starz, with Dish Network-owned Sling TV falling out of the chart.

The report notes that NBCUniversal’s Peacock is beginning to make inroads in terms of paid subscriptions, but that the majority of its users are making the most of the streamer’s free ad-supported tier.

Steve Nason, Research Director, Parks Associates, said: “For many years, the Big three in OTT, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, have ruled the top of the subscription-based OTT service space. 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.”

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