Top 10 US streaming services seeing strong subscriber growth

By Jim O'Neill on Oct 26 2016 at 7:30 AM
Top 10 US streaming services seeing strong subscriber growth

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of U.S. broadband households subscribe to at least one streaming service, with the Big 3 – Netflix, Amazon Video and Hulu – most prevalent.

But Sling TV, CBS All Access and Showtime are moving up in that list – prepared by Parks Associates – as more Americans opt for SVOD services.

Parks said it’s seeing continued growth among the Top 10 SVOD services, with all of them growing their subscriber bases over the past year.

The top five spots at the end of Q3 stayed the same (the Big 3 rounded out with MLB.TV and WWE Network), due primarily to their early traction in the market and growth over the past several years.

The next five, Sling TV, HBO Now, Crunchyroll, Showtime and CBS All Access have been growing steadily more recently, with Showtime and CBS All Access especially active.

“Showtime and CBS All Access have made a significant push into the OTT space,” said Brett Sappington, Senior Director of Research, Parks Associates. “Their recognized brands and popular content… have provided them with a good basis for building an OTT service.”

And, Sappington said, OTT consumption increasingly has moved to the TV set as they become even more mainstream.

“OTT users watch OTT services on their TV screens between 17-20 days per month, much more than platforms such as a PC, smartphone, or tablet,” he said, a trend that will only grow.

Parks found that Hispanic broadband HHs were even more likely – about 15% higher -- to use OTT services than the U.S. average, noting that many are also subscribing to two or more services. More than a quarter (29%0 subscribe to sports services, higher than any other group, and nearly two-thirds (63%) subscriber to Netflix, also higher than the national average.

A recent study from eMarketer posits that Amazon Prime Instant Video, which is now available as a standalone service from the broader Amazon Prime service, is now the fastest-growing SVOD service in the U.S., at a clip of more than 16.5% annually.

Next month, however, AT&T is set to launch its DirecTV Now streaming service, a mobile-centric play that could totally upend the space. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson yesterday said the new play would include about 100 channels – which is expected to also have live linear streams from the major networks, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC – for a bargain basement $35 a month.

Stephenson has said the telco fully expects DirecTV Now to cannibalize its U-verse and DirecTV legacy pay-TV services, just as its wireless business has gutted its legacy landline phone business.

Dish Network’s Sling TV also has gained subscribers, likely at the expense of Dish Network’s pay-TV service.

As more virtual MVPD services launch – Google (Unplugged) and Hulu, for example – that cannibalization will continue at the expense of cable, satellite and telco pay-TV services.

Stay tuned.

Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

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