Streaming video scramble

A scrum of streaming video competitors has emerged in the past few years to challenge front-runner Netflix. Specific subscriber data is closely held, but here is the competitive landscape as of mid-2021 according to public sources.

Subscribers to U.S. video streaming services (Q2 2021 or as noted)

CompanyUS & Canada SubscriptionsGlobalBusiness model Notes
NETFLIX74,400,000208,000,000Monthly subscription
DISNEY + (Disney)n.a.103,600,000Monthly subscription
HULU (SVOD only) 
(Disney)
n.a.37,800,000Monthly subscription
HULU (SVOD + live tv)
(Disney)
n.a.3,800,000Monthly subscription
ESPN +
(Disney)
n.a.13,800,000Monthly subscription
HBO and HBO MAX (WarnerMedia)44,200,00063,900,000Monthly subscription
AMAZON PRIME VIDEOn.a.175,000,000*Annual subscription* # who streamed video, out of 200 million global total subs
PEACOCK (NBCUniversal)42,000,000*Monthly subscriptions, also
free, ad-supported version
*”sign-ups”
PARAMOUNT +, SHOWTIME, NOGGIN, BET + (ViacomCBS)n.a.36,000,000Monthly subscription
PLUTO TV (ViacomCBS)n.a.50,000,000Ad supported
STARZ (Lionsgate)n.a.16,700,000*Monthly subscription*streaming, out of 29.5M total
DISCOVERY +n.a.13,000,000Monthly subscriptionMerging soon with WarnerMedia
APPLE TV + (Apple)n.a.33,600,000*Monthly subscription*Ampere Analysis 2019 (cited by The Wall Street Journal)

Sources: CNBC, individual service web pages

Who owns the digital pipelines?

Cord-cutting continued into 2021 as U.S. consumers dropped pricey cable TV bundles in favor of internet-based TV and movie options. Broadband internet subscriptions grew. Three major players — Comcast, Charter and AT&T — now control most of America’s digital pipelines.

Subscribers to U.S. video and internet services (Q2 2021 or as noted)

Company Consumer Digital TV Consumer Internet  
COMCAST 18,225,000 29,108,000 9.4 million voice customers
CHARTER  15,420,000 27,722,000 9 million telephone subs
ATT  14,174,000 15,481,000 65.5 million phone subs
VERIZON 3,710,000 6,783,000 94.6 million wireless customers
COX 3,865,000* 5,170,000* *Q4-2019 estimates
ALTICE 2,906,000 4,370,000 Q1-2021  2.2 million voice customers
DISH 8,640,000  n.a. + 2.47 million Sling TV subscribers
LUMEN (CenturyLink) 1,400,000 5,000,000 2020 per wikipedia

Sources: Company reports, Leichtman research

Internet and smartphone growth have slowed, Mary Meeker reports

Mary Meeker’s 2018 report on the state of the internet, via ReCode

In her annual state-of-the-internet report, Mary Meeker sizes up changes last year and emerging trends for next year. Here are a few of many takeaways. Review all of the slides below.

  • Smartphone and internet growth have slowed. With more than half the world online, there are fewer people left to connect. Time spent online, however, is still increasing.
  • Voice-controlled products like Amazon Echo are taking off.
  • Tech companies are facing a “privacy paradox.” They’re caught between using data to provide better consumer experiences and violating consumer privacy.
  • E-commerce growth is accelerating; physical retail sales are continuing to decline.