Report: Global Streaming Subscriptions to Reach Nearly 2 Billion by 2028; Where Will New Subscribers Come From?
The streaming market in the United States may have reached its saturation point, but there’s still plenty of room for global growth. That’s according to a new report from ReThink Technology Research, which shows that the number of global streaming subscribers will grow to 1.89 billion by 2028.
The report shows that in the next five years, the increase in access to broadband internet will help fuel the spread of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services. In the next five years, streaming customers will have grown by more than 1 billion from the 738.9 million that currently exist.
The expansion in the availability of streaming will also bring a big infusion of cash into the industry, according to the report. ReThink expects global streaming revenues to grow from their current level of around $75.8 billion to more than $171 billion over the next half-decade.
The report does not indicate where streaming growth is most likely to come from in that time frame, but it probably won’t be from a huge influx of new U.S. customers. The number of Americans who are subscribed to a streaming service has remained essentially flat for some time, hovering between 80%-85%.
The good news for streaming providers is that there are many other global sectors to expand into. A 2021 report showed that South America, Africa, and Europe all saw streaming video time increases of more than 100% over their 2020 numbers. Services like Paramount+ have put a lot of resources into expanding their reach in these areas in the last year, with more growth likely to come.
The increase in global content on streaming services reflects where company executives see the most growth coming from in the near future. American-made shows now account for less than half of Netflix's current content library, and content from countries like South Korea is spending an increasing amount of time on global top 10 most-watched lists for the service.
Netflix’s most recent subscriber totals are further confirmation that streaming growth is most likely to come from outside the U.S. in the coming years. Thanks largely to additions from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, Netflix added 7.66 million users in the fourth quarter of 2022, beating market expectations and rising to 230.75 million overall. Only 910,000 of those new users came from the U.S./Canada.
An influx of new global users will not help streamers avoid the same questions that plague them currently, such as how to reduce churn and monetize subscribers to the max. Streamers will also have to adapt to new and varying demands for content as they expand to new markets, but if they do so successfully they stand to reap big rewards in terms of new subscribers, according to ReThink’s research.