Netflix, Amazon Prime Lead the OTT Pack

Hulu, HBO Now and Starz round out the top 5, according to Parks Associates
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Netflix and Amazon Prime are the most popular OTT/streaming services, according to media research firm Parks Associates. Hulu, HBO Now and Starz round out the top 5.

The top 10 services are:

1. Netflix

2. Prime Video Users (Amazon Prime)

3. Hulu (SVOD)

4. HBO Now

5. Starz

6. MLB.TV

7. Showtime

8. CBS All Acess

9. Sling TV

10. DIRECTV Now

“Which company is the leading OTT video subscription service remains a topic of debate,” said Brett Sappington, Senior Director of Research, Parks Associates. “According to our estimates, Amazon has more Prime Members than Netflix has subscribers. However, when you consider only those Prime Members that use Prime Video, Netflix is the largest. Hulu remains the third largest but continues to grow its subscriber base.”

With pay-TV subscribers continuing to cut the cord, alternatives like so-called “skinny bundles”--OTT services that offer a smaller, more select lineup of channels--are becoming more popular, as represented by Sling TV and DIRECTV Now in the top 10. Similar services include Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue. Online pay TV has been one of the fastest growing segments in the OTT video space, with aggressive marketing by all, according to Parks.

“HBO, Starz, Showtime, and CBS All Access demonstrate the powerful attractiveness of original content through series like Game of Thrones and Star Trek: Discovery,” Sappington said. “This pattern suggests new services such as WarnerMedia’s DC Universe and the forthcoming streaming service from Disney could achieve success quickly.”

The top subscription sports OTT video services are MLB.TV, WWE Network, and ESPN+. MLB.TV continues to lead the sports OTT subscription category, benefiting from its long tenure as a streaming service and popularity among dedicated baseball fans. ESPN+ is a newcomer to the OTT video marketplace but recently announced that it had exceeded 1 million subscribers.

Parks Associates’ OTT Video Market Tracker tracks the content offerings, business strategies, and subscription numbers for OTT services in North America. Additional data from these services:

  • OTT video subscription penetration has reached 64% of U.S. broadband households. Over two-thirds of these households subscribe only to one of the top three services, Netflix, Prime Video, or Hulu.
  • 36% of broadband households subscribe to two or more OTT video services.
  • The online pay-TV audience is similar to the OTT audience—they are younger and quicker to adopt new technologies when compared to traditional pay-TV households.
  • Over the past three years, OTT churn rates have gradually fallen each year from 31% of OTT subscriptions cancelled each year in 2015 to 28% in 2018.