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Global SVOD Subscriptions Hit New Record, With 770 Million Across 21 Top Services

Fern Siegel

Streaming networks continue to add subscribers — and worldwide stats are at an all-time high.

Global SVOD subscriptions in Q3 2020 added 217.6 million, beating the previous year-over-year record of 211.7 million in Q4 2018, according to Strategy Analytics. The researcher’s analysis is based on 21 leading SVOD services — and the total sub numbers rose nearly 770 million in Q3, compared to 552 million in 2019.

Its report, “Q3 2020 Global VOD Service Competitor Review,” found three quarters of successive growth. Clearly, pandemic viewing upped the stats, as did the reception to Disney+, which is popular both here and abroad.

“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,” says Michael Goodman, director, TV-media strategies. “Netflix remains the clear leader, but its share of subscriptions has been falling steadily as new entrants arrive.

“Disney’s rapid growth has helped it reach the No. 2 position in subscriptions, and with its various D2C services, it has already reached an annual revenue run rate of $5.8B.”

The numbers reflect an ongoing trend — traditional broadcast has lost audiences, as has cable TV. Cord-cutting or cord-nevers, along with younger demos’ preferences, have realigned viewing habits.

Separately, WarnerMedia and Comcast have extended HBO Max’s reach. The streamer is now available on Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex. The timing is telling: The Xfinity launch means viewers can see the feature film “Wonder Woman 1984” starring Gal Gadot.