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U.S. SVOD Subscriptions Now Exceed Country’s Population

Derek Walborn

Data from Ampere Analysis indicates that the number of domestic subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, and HBO Max tops the actual population of the United States. The growing number of subscriptions is due to a variety of contributing factors such the pandemic’s stay-at-home regulations, the launch of new services, and the fact that many services now offer bundles.

Currently, there are close to 340 million subscriptions in the U.S. The data shows that 57% of internet users report that SVOD services are the primary way in which they watch movies and TV. Over 25% of high-speed internet users say they subscribe to five or more platforms and more than two-thirds of streaming users say that binging their favorite shows is a regular activity.

It’s no surprise then that the data provided by Ampere says that the U.S. has the highest reported binge watching levels of any other developed market.

Toby Holleran, research manager at Ampere, said that “in 2020, pay-TV penetration dropped below 60% for the first time, down from more than 80% at the beginning of 2015, with consumers increasingly shifting to SVOD services.” Holleran goes on to note that “alongside growth from the pandemic, 2020 also saw the domestic launches of both Peacock and HBO Max, which grew the market even further.”

According to Holleran, viewers generally shifted away from linear TV as streaming options increased. Subscriptions have risen to numbers higher than the population thanks to subscribers wanting to curate their own content with original programming unique to each platform, therefore requiring membership to multiple services.

Holleran states that “the average SVOD household took more than four services, and with the more recent launch of services such as Paramount+ and Discovery+, this could grow even further as 2021 progresses,” he said.

Deals that provide exclusive, original content directly to streaming platforms such as the one struck between Warner Bros. and HBO Max allowing for the premiere of blockbusters like “Godzilla Vs. Kong” and the upcoming fourth entry in “The Matrix” series are also sure to provide incentive for consumers to subscribe to multiple services for fear of missing out on some of pop culture’s heaviest hitters.

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