Last year was another good year for subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services. Recent data from Kantar finds that by the end of 2020 there were 233 million video streaming subscriptions in the US.
While a lot of the growth of SVOD services in 2020 can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent effect of people spending more time watching TV and streaming videos than they had before, there is also growth when it comes to the number of SVOD services US households are subscribing to. At the start of 2020, households subscribed to an average of 3.1 SVOD services. By the end of the year, that average had risen to 3.5.
With an array of new SVOD services appearing over the past 12-18 months, viewers have a wealth of choices to add to their SVOD bundles. At least part of the appeal is the unique content each service provides, with 29% of new subscribers saying they are drawn to services because of specific titles. Given that the draw of original content has long been a factor for streaming customers, SVOD services have clearly benefited from the library of original shows that they commissioned before the pandemic.
Overall, it appears that Disney+ acquired the largest share of new subscribers for the year, accounting for 18.3% of new subscribers. Following Disney+ are three of the other “Big 5” streaming services, namely Prime Video, Hulu (paid version) and Netflix which grabbed 17%, 13.2% and 12.5% share of total US new subscribers, respectively.
Making its debut in May, HBO Max ended the year with 12% share of new subscribers. Warner Brother’s decision in late 2020 to release all 2021 films simultaneously in cinemas and on the service no doubt attributed to HBO Max accounting for an outsized 19.2% of all new US SVOD subscribers in Q4 2020.
For its part, Peacock’s paid service accounted for 4.4% share of new paying SVOD subscribers in Q4. Peacock’s results give weight to the idea that consumers are open to ad-supported streaming video services, as Kantar reports that only 35% of Peacock users subscribe to their premium/ad-free service.
For further quarterly details, read more here.