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Subscription growth continues globally, but competition is fierce

August 25, 2021 | By Rande Price, Research VP – DCN

Streaming services continue to rack up subscriber growth in the global marketplace. In fact, Juniper Research forecasts nearly 2 billion active subscriptions globally to on-demand video services by 2025. That’s an increase of 65% compared to the end of 2020. Domestically, USB analysts believe that Americans will add 50 million net new video subscriptions this year, up from a 47 million increase in 2020.

To gain insight into the market breakdown of global streaming marketplace, Finder.com conducted a survey with close to 30,000 consumers across 18 countries. In total, approximately 56% of consumers report having access to at least one streaming service. Finder.com is a content site focused on helping consumers make informed decisions in categories such as credit cards, mortgages, health insurance and others.   

Streamer concentration and service popularity

New Zealand and Brazil represent the highest concentration of respondents using at least one streaming service (65.3% and 64.6% respectively). On the opposite end, France and Pakistan report the least number of streamers in their countries, 45.2% and 44.6%, respectively.

Respondents were asked specifically about three global services: Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. Netflix is by far the most popular streaming service among the three with more than two in five (40.1%) consumers subscribing to it around the world. Nearly 14% of those surveyed subscribe to Amazon (13.9%) and 13.1% subscribe to Disney+. Ireland had the highest number of respondents reporting that they subscribe to Netflix and Amazon Prime (56.9% and 19.9%, respectively). The U.S. ranked the highest in Disney+ subscribers at 32.8%.

Demographic appeal

Women tend to consume more on these platforms with an average of 57.2% reporting at least one streaming service compared to men at 55.6%. Countries with highest female usage are Ireland (69.2%), Brazil (65.9%) and New Zealand (65.3%). The U.S. ranks fifth with at least 63.9% of women reporting that they subscribe to at least one streaming service. In terms of popularity, Netflix is the most popular streaming service among women (45.2%) followed by Disney+ (14.7%), and Amazon Prime (13.8%).

U.S. streaming close up

The survey included Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and YouTube TV when asking U.S. respondents about streaming services. Again, Netflix leads with 45.4% of respondents saying they use it, followed by Amazon Prime (32.8%), Hulu (22.3%), Disney+ (18.1%) and YouTube TV (7.4%). 

Hands down, Netflix is the most popular platform in the U.S. across each age group. Sixty percent of people aged 18-24, 54.0% of 25-34-year-olds, 53.1% aged 35-44, 50.2% of 45-54-year-olds, 42.3% of 55-64-year-olds, and 38.2% of those over 65 all report that they use the streaming service.

Subscribing to video streaming services is the norm for today’s consumers. But competition is fierce. These services not only need to attract subscribers, they must also hold on to them. With an increasing number of subscription services, retention is critical to market growth and expansion. Importantly, subscription services need to employ strategies that build loyalty, provide added value, and offer personalization to compete in the global marketplace.

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