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Report: Streaming Subscriptions Continue to Rise Despite Netflix Losses

Dani Cook

Netflix has dominated the news recently with reports of losing 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022 and significant changes to its business model. A hit to the biggest streaming platform on the planet has, in turn, resulted in drops to the company’s stock, additionally causing a knock-on effect to other prominent streamers such as Disney and Roku suffering drops to their own stock prices. With headlines suggesting that the streaming industry is going through a bit of a rough patch, new data has unexpectedly shown that streaming subscriptions as a whole have continued to be on a meteoric rise.

Research from the data platform Antenna shows that there were 37.4 million new gross subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) customers in the first quarter of 2022. Comparatively, in 2019 when the market was dominated by Netflix and Hulu, before the introduction of services such as Disney+, Peacock, and HBO Max, there were a total of 10.3 million subscriptions in the year’s first quarter. The massive increase depicts a three-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54%.

The figure of 37.4 million is consistent with the subscriber growth seen in the two previous quarters, although it is a dramatic rise from previous years. The increase was primarily fuelled by newer streaming platforms such as Peacock and Paramount+. These services received a combined 6.1 million new subscribers in Q1 2022.

While the 37.4 number is in line with recent history, the industry was hit by growing cancelations. The quarter saw a total loss of 29.8 million subscribers in Q1 2022, leaving a gross of just 7.7 million new subscribers. Meaning, that since Peacock and Paramount+’s subscriber gains totaled 6.1 million, those two up-and-coming streamers accounted for 80% of the market’s total growth in the first three months of the year.

Additionally, while Disney+ subscription growth remains positive, there has been a noticeable fall in the rate at which it is currently gaining subscribers.

Subscriber growth may be at an all-time high right now, but so are cancellations. There were just under 30 million cancellations in Q1 2022, which is 12% higher than any quarter in history, or 4.5 times the cancel volume seen three years earlier.

The most glaring part of this data seems to be the current volatility of the streaming market. The industry is in a state of flux, with new platforms popping up almost weekly. Newer platforms such as Paramount+ and Peacock are fighting to gain a foothold in the market much to the detriment of established streamers like Netflix. However, with the current state of the industry, it’s incredibly difficult to predict which services will be on top next quarter.

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