Report: Disney+ struggling to break into ‘Big 3’ US SVoDs

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Parks Associates has released its updated list of the top 10 US subscription OTT services, based on estimated number of subscribers through September 2020 from the firm’s OTT Video Market Tracker.

Parks Associates notes that recent entrants such as HBO Max, Apple TV+, and Disney+ have rearranged the top ten list. Sling TV dropped out of the list, and with MLB.tv falling off, ESPN+ is the only sports-based service in the list.

Despite all these changes, the top three remain fixed with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. NBCUniversal’s Peacock is starting to make inroads in terms of paid subscriptions, but currently the base for that service is mainly comprised of users of the free ad-supported tier.

Top 10 US Subscription OTT Video Services

1. Netflix
2. Amazon Prime Video
3. Hulu
4. Disney+
5. ESPN+
6. HBO Max
7. Apple TV+
8. CBS All Access
9. Showtime
10. Starz

“For many years, the Big 3 in OTT, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, have ruled the top of the subscription-based OTT service space,” said Steve Nason, Research Director, Parks Associates, and author of Parks Associates’ industry report The Next ‘Big 3’ in OTT. “However, with newer entrants and expanded offerings, that trend may be about to change. The Big 3 and their main challengers have gone to market with varying content and distribution strategies, with the same goal in mind: reach elusive consumers with a compelling content offering and user experience to be a foundational essential service in an OTT subscriber’s service stack.”

Parks Associates’ OTT Video Market Tracker tracks the content offerings, business strategies, and subscription numbers for OTT services in North America. The research firm reports that 78 per cent of US broadband households subscribe to at least one OTT service, up from 71 per cent the previous year. The new report The Next ‘Big 3’ in OTT evaluates the emergence of new SVoD services recently launched and their potential impact on the market penetration and revenue of the current dominant services.

“The Walt Disney Company announced 10 million subscribers upon initial launch, which put Disney+ as fourth on the list, where it has remained for almost a year,” Nason said. “That shows how difficult it will be for any service to break into the ‘Big 3’ for OTT services. Partnerships are essential. For example, HBO Max will get a boost from its deal with Amazon to roll out its service on Amazon Fire TV devices.”


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