Global Streaming Subs Saw Record Growth in Q3 2020, Finds Strategy Analytics

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BOSTON—The global streaming video market saw its largest quarterly gain of subscribers ever in the third quarter of 2020, according to the latest report from Strategy Analytics. Multiple factors have contributed to recent surges of streaming subscribers, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the launch of new streaming services, most notably Disney+.

The Q3 2020 Global Video Service Competitor Review found that Q3 saw an annual increase of global streaming subscriptions of 217.6 million, besting the previous highmark of 211.7 million that occurred in Q4 2018. As of the end of Q3, the total of global subscribers among the leading 21 streaming services has reached 769.8 million, per Strategy Analytics. Even with this growth, Strategy Analytics believes that the streaming market is still a ways from reaching market maturity.

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The two main factors attributing to this are the pandemic, which with people at home more has led to an increase in the number of streaming services households are subscribing too, as well as the emergence of new streaming services. Major services—particularly Disney+, which drew 86.8 million subscribers in its first year, ranking second among global subscribers, Strategy Analytics says—are growing and are still expected to launch in many more countries.

After the previous high mark in Q4 2018, streaming subscriber growth actually decreased for four straight quarters. However, the last three have reversed that trend with consistently growing numbers.

“Until early 2020 it looked like the SVOD growth curve was heading toward a plateau, but the annual growth rate has actually been accelerating during the past 12 months,” said Michael Goodman, director, TV & Media Strategies, Strategy Analytics. “Netflix of course remains the clear leader, but its share of subscriptions has been falling steadily as new entrants arrive.”

“The evidence confirms that the transformation of TV is well under way,” said David Mercer, Strategy Analytics’ vice president and principal analyst. “SVOD services are playing a key role in changing the way people watch TV, and we expect hundreds of millions of homes worldwide to move away from traditional broadcast and pay-TV over the coming decade.”

Strategy Analytics’ full report is available online