Netflix recently suffered its first subscriber loss in a decade, while simultaneously announcing its intent to introduce a lower-cost option that includes advertising. It does so in an environment in which the reach of ad-supported services is greater than that of non-ad-supported services, according to data from Comscore.
Comscore’s data indicates that in February 2022, ad-supported services (defined as “any service that enables an ad-based tier, such as Hulu”) reached 75.3 million households, just ahead of the 74.7 million reached by non-ad-supported services.
The analysts expect that the reach of ad-supported services “will only continue to grow in the coming months as more audiences seek out lower-cost or free ad-supported options and subscription providers such as Disney+ introduce ad-supported tiers to offset inflation concerns.”
While Netflix may seek to take advantage of these trends, it will be doing so amid a much more competitive landscape, with the average streaming subscriber now having more than 4 services. This is evidenced by Netflix’s overlap with other OTT services, as detailed by Comscore.
Indeed, in February two-thirds of Netflix subscribers also had Amazon Video, up from 60% during the year-earlier period. Likewise, half (51%) subscribed to Hulu (up from 47%), 44% to HBO MAX (up from 26%), and 40% to Disney+ (up from 36%). Peacock is another emerging competitor, as 30% of Netflix subscribers are customers of the platform, up from just 6% in February 2021.
Despite this, Netflix is working from a leading position, per Comscore. It captured 29% share of total connected TV viewing hours in February 2022, the largest share of any platform, and ahead of YouTube (21% share). Hulu (12% share) was the only other platform to capture double-digit share of CTV hours during the month, and was followed by Amazon Video (9%), Disney+ (4%), HBO MAX (3%), and Spectrum TV (3%).
For more, check out Comscore’s data here.