The size of the streaming over-the-top video market in the United States should hit 181 million this year, according to eMarketer’s first ever over-the-top video forecast.
Sound huge? It is, because that figure includes YouTube, since the report takes into account individuals of any age who watch video on an app or Web site that bypasses traditional video distribution. Given that parameter, eMarketer said YouTube is on pace to reach 170.7 million monthly video users, which represents 94% of the OTT video market.
But since many industry members don’t consider YouTube a pure-play OTT service, let's look to the other services.
By most estimates, the dominant OTT providers are Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. eMarketer forecasts Netflix to expand its U.S. audience this year by more than 20% to hit 114.3 million viewers, representing 63% of OTT viewers. Netflix’s growth trajectory remains strong, and the service will reach about 72% of the OTT audience in four years, or about 143 million.
Hulu, meanwhile, should hit 82 million users by 2019, up from nearly 60 million this year, while Amazon will surpass that and land at 88.6 million OTT viewers in 2019, a jump from 65 million this year. In addition, the entire connected TV audience is on track to reach 140.5 million users this year in the United States, with 37% of those users accessing streaming Internet TV via a game console.
As the size of the user base grows, so will revenue. Earlier this summer a reportfrom Ooyala and Vindicia predicted OTT revenue would reach $8 billion to $12 billion in 2018, up from $4 billion last year. Meanwhile, Digital TV Research has saidthat OTT TV and video revenue in the United States will comprise $19.1 billion in 2020.