This updated version includes comment from Hulu questioning eMarketer's conclusions.
Although some of the accolades about over the top viewing are themselves over the
top appraisals, the appetite for online viewing is building.
As a general rule, everybody gets Netflix and then builds from there. That rule seems to be holding
nicely. It’s a good base for users.
Netflix enjoys incredibly good word of mouth. If HBO is more than TV, as its old ad campaign once averred, than Netflix transcends content itself. It
is more like Netflix users constitute a kind of self-aware consumer choosing Netflix as much symbolically as for the actual content.
Netflix content, while generally
quite good, almost always gets bumped up to “groundbreaking.”
I’m just a little grouchier than that.
Anyway, it seems there is some good
Netflix-Amazon competition. Now, eMarketer is predicting that
Amazon’s streaming video service will have 76.2 million users by the end of the year, about three million more than eMarketer had predicted. And eMarketer reports 16% of Netflix users get
another SVOD service; that’s up from 10% in 2013.
Part of the increase is due to Amazon’s decision to unbundle itself. Once to get the video, a user had to
subscribe to the Amazon Prime shopping service which provides free shipping for lot of items. But that costs $99 a year.
For over the top samplers, that could be a big step, so Amazon, which
reports earnings on Thursday, in April started selling the video service as a stand-alone product for just $8.99 a month, cheaper than Netflix. (If only cable unbundled as sensibly, about a
If nothing else, it gave some users a way to see award-winning “Transparent” or “Mozarti in the Jungle” without fully committing to Amazon. But once you
get ‘em in the tent. . .
That apparently worked.
It’s not like Netflix is threatened. It has 120 million users, and a huge
pocketbook edge. It intends to spend $5 billion on content in 2016 and will make that $6 billion in 2017. That would be more than twice what Amazon will spend this year. because eMarketer says
Amazon’s video base rose 16.5% this year, faster than other OTT services it measured.
But Hulu may be in a stickier situation, said eMarketer. It said Hulu abandoned
an ad-supported model and doing that trimmed its user base by half, to about 30 million users. Hulu, it should be said, vigorously disputes that whole premise and eMarketer's conclusions, since Hulu
counts subscribers (12 million), not the more nebulous "users." But more importantly Hulu says it flat out did not discontinue its ad-supported service. Hulu has a very popular ad/pay hybrid, that
costs $7.99 a month and advertising volume there is "quite robust." The fully free Hulu has gone away but that content is available on Yahoo platforms and had very few users, before and