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Which Streaming Services Added the Most Content So Far in 2021?

Derek Walborn

As we look back on the unfolding of the first quarter of 2021, it’s clear that streaming services are keen to maintain the momentum they created throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Rotating content, new original programming, and the streaming rights to theatrical premieres have all been put to good use in efforts grab captive audiences in dire need of escapism.

As the weather brightens and predictions for a summer less restricted by pandemic precautions become more optimistic, the goal now turns not just to growth but also to viewer retention. Thus far, both Disney+ and Netflix look to be the heavy hitters with regard to keeping folks engaged. Disney’s family-friendly content, from their back catalog of animated classics to new material from Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has been a strong success among new subscribers, and it looks as though many new Netflix members are also in it for the long haul.

Courtesy of Reelgood’s Q1 2021 SVOD Catalog Insights, here are some highlights and statistics that paint a picture of the trends being employed by services looking to keep viewers glued to their devices through the rest of the year:

Discovery+, debuting just this year, jumped right into the top ten for most content added this quarter thanks to its glut of original reality TV programming as well as its recent acquisition of streaming rights for content from All3Media.

Discovery’s new platform no doubt contributed to reality TV show programming experiencing a staggering 92% increase across all streaming platforms in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter of 2020.

Disney+ ranked second in both Children/Family Episodes Added and Children/Family Movies Added in the first quarter, surprisingly beaten by HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video in both categories, respectively.

HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video added the most new content to their platforms in the first quarter of the year, dominating both the Episodes Added and Movies Added categories with first-place showings.

Paramount added the majority of the new movies across all services, although surprisingly few of them ended up on Paramount+, their new platform. 32% of the production company’s releases this quarter were destined for Amazon Prime Video, including “Coming 2 America,” which provided Amazon’s streaming platform with the fourth-largest opening weekend of any film premiering across all platforms this quarter.

This generosity is most likely short-lived. Paramount, like other companies looking to pump up their fledgling proprietary streaming platforms, will surely be working behind the scenes to corral its content into their walled garden.

When it comes to original programming, possibly the most crucial factor when it comes to viewer loyalty, Netflix continues to reign supreme. The streaming giant is followed by HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video, in that order.

While the top of the field looks predictably close across the board, judging by Netflix's poor performance with regard to new subscribers we may very well be in for a shakeup as 2021 continues to move along with new surprises and a shifting content landscape.

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