It’s been much reported, of course, that the nation’s pay-TV services have been hemorrhaging subscribers, with long-running trends escalating this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Following the loss of another 1.5 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2020, per Leichtman Research Group, the largest pay-TV services now have 82.4 million subscribers, a number that’s only expected to drop more.
On the other hand, streaming service subscriptions are soaring, as are the overall number of streaming services. And a new study says those increases are only going to escalate.
According to new data released this week by the Digital TV Research Report, as cited by Senal News, SVOD (subscription video on demand) subscriptions are seen spiking from their 2019 number of 203 million to 317 million by 2025.
Netflix is seen growing from 61 million U.S. subscribers last year to 71 million in 2025, while Amazon Prime Video is seen growing from 53.3 million to 59.8 million. Disney+, which only launched last year, is seen jumping from 22.8 million to 49.8 million, with “HBO Now”—which has since been replaced by HBO Max—going from 10 million to just over 22 million. Peacock, which did not exist last year, is expected to jump to 11 million subscribers in five years, with CBS All Access—which will soon rebrand as Paramount+—is expected to go from 6.2 million to 18.4 million.
The “others” category, which would appear to include Apple TV+, Showtime, Criterion Channel, and such niche products as Shudder, is seen growing from 22.1 million to 35.2 million. This would presumably also include streaming services that have yet to launch.
“The depth of choice in the US will not be replicated in any other country. Eight US platforms will have more than 10 million paying subs by 2025. Disney+ will just overtake Hulu by 2025,” Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said in the announcement.
Pay-TV and streaming subscriptions are by no means an apples-to-apples comparison, as most streaming subscribers have more than one subscription, and many streaming subscribers also still subscribe to cable or other pay TV services. Subscribing to cable is both more expensive and a heavier lift than subscribing to Netflix or Disney+.
Nielsen recently began publishing weekly TV ratings for shows on streaming services, and has been adding new services each week after previously only measuring Netflix. However, as of the most recent ratings, Netflix continues to hold all of the top ten spots. As of the last week of August, “Lucifer” was the top streaming program, followed by “Cobra Kai,” “The Office,” “The Legend of Korra” and “The Umbrella Academy.” Disney+, however, may have a chance to crack the ratings once “The Mandalorian” returns for its second season in October.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.