Global streaming subscriptions have seen steady growth all year, ending Q3 of this year at its second-highest peak since 2018 after seeing a plateau in last year according to a report by Strategy Analytics. The global streaming industry ended Q3 with 217.6 million subscriptions compared to 170.1 million in 2019. It’s hard to say if there’s just one factor playing a role here, but analysts are attributing the successful year to ripple effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the boom in new streaming services like Disney+.
Disney+ launched at the end of last year and has quickly been gaining serious momentum ever since. As of December 2, the streamer had reached 86.8 million paid subscribers worldwide. Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced the milestone during the recent Investor Day Event, saying the platform has exceeded the company’s “wildest expectations.”
Fueled by stay-at-home orders and compelling original content, the streamer will reach $1.94 billion in revenue by the end of this year. Thanks to a recently announced $1 subscription price increase scheduled for March, Disney+ is on track to surpass $4.23 billion by the end of 2022.
This year also saw the launch of several other new streaming services including HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock, as well as Apple TV+ which launched last fall with Disney+. Most of the newly launched streamers have had a successful launch so far with a few exceptions (RIP Quibi).
“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.”
Along with the array of shiny new streaming platforms available, the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders has fueled global streaming subscriptions to skyrocket, reaching a pinnacle for the year in Q3.
Experts say this viewing trend is only going to grow in the coming years.
“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.”