Analysts Project Netflix to Remain Streaming Leader by 2027, HBO Max Growth to Stall Entirely
A recently published forecast for subscription video-on-demand services suggests that Netflix will still have the most subscribers around the world in five years, despite recent subscriber declines and increased competition. The revised prediction includes a slowdown for Disney+ and a near-total plateau for HBO Max.
On a global scale, Digital TV Research predicts that SVOD subscriptions will increase by 475 million, for a total of 1.68 billion by 2027. U.S.-based platforms will still hold a majority of the global market at 47% — roughly 896 million subscribers.
|SVOD||Current Total Subscribers (Millions)||Projected 6-Year Changes (Estimated, Millions)||Projected 6-Year Total Subscribers (Millions)|
*Apple TV+ and Prime Video do not release their subscription numbers, so we are left to estimate their totals. The most recent subscriber estimates for Apple TV+ are at 25 million, while Prime Video projects at 77 million according to Parks Associates. HBO Max has not reported standalone numbers since March — the last number given included discovery+ subscribers.
The trajectory of Disney+ took a hit when the company opted not to renew the streaming rights to the Indian Premier League and opted instead to focus on the broadcast rights, causing a significant downturn in the company’s long-term subscriber projections. Disney+ is still on track to land in third place by 2027.
Perhaps more notable, Digital TV Research predicts almost zero growth for HBO Max over the next five years. Relentless cost-cutting efforts by new CEO David Zaslav could play a part in that. The service is also going to force a mandatory bundling with discovery+ next year — a move that will raise prices and potentially send some subscribers away.
One notable change is the predicted surge for Paramount+, with the analysts believing it can surpass HBO Max by 2027. Paramount Global has been making several smart moves to shore up their streaming product, investing in shows from “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan, moving to make Showtime a more integrated part of the platform, and smartly leveraging its properties from Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, and more.
The path to sustained global growth appears to hinge on whether a service offers a major, unique advantage, like exclusive sports streaming rights. For already-established players like Netflix, the upcoming ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) tier will incorporate more price-sensitive viewers around the world. The company itself believes it will add 40 million ad-supported subscribers next year alone, which would eclipse this Digital TV Research forecast.