U.S. Now Has More Streaming Subscriptions Than People: Report

There are now nearly 340 million subscription contracts to OTT streaming services in the U.S., exceeding the country’s 330-million population, according to a new report from Ampere Analysis.

Ampere’s latest wave of consumer research, for Q1 2021, found the average U.S. consumer reporting subscribing to four-plus subscription VOD services, and one-quarter subscribing to five or more. 

More than half (57%) said that SVODs are the main way they watch TV and film. Two-thirds said they regularly binge-watch TV on the services — more than in any other developed market.

“In 2020, pay TV penetration dropped below 60% for the first time — down from more than 80% at the beginning of 2015 — with  consumers increasingly shifting to SVOD services,” commented Ampere Research Manager Toby Holleran. “Alongside growth from the pandemic, 2020 also saw the U.S. launch of both Peacock and HBO Max, which grew the market even further.” 

With other new services entering the market and consumers becoming accustomed to curating their own content/services portfolios, streaming services “stacking” is likely to show continued growth, he said.

4 comments about "U.S. Now Has More Streaming Subscriptions Than People: Report".
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  1. David Tice from Hub Entertainment Research, April 12, 2021 at 2:04 p.m.

    At some point, will any of these articles about Ampere and their clickbait press releases actually detail how they measure subscriptions? It is certainly not clearly stated in either these articles or on their own website. Part of data journalism is providing at least some context so readers can make a judgement on the quality of the data and its methodology.

  2. Ginger Cookie from Consultant, April 13, 2021 at 8:40 a.m.

    So true....clickbait for sure, coming from a leading and long time trade media publisher, more info should be obvious on bringing more context to its percieved substance. 

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 13, 2021 at 9:05 a.m.

    The contention that there are slightly more SVOD subscriptions than people in the U.S. is probably correct. So what? There are about the same number of TV sets in the country. Again, "So what?" When usage is measured---a more relevant statistic----the average person now devotes only a fifth of his/her "TV" time to streaming while "linear TV's" share, including over-the-air and other non-"pay TV" methods of access is about four times higher. One more time, "So what?" Over the next five years more and more "TV" will be consumed by streaming---both program content and ads---but not all of it, by any means. And streaming, in 2025-26 will look just about like "linear TV" looks now---or very close to it ---in terms of available content, with lots odf ads thrown into the mix. One final time,"So what?"

  4. Karlene Lukovitz from MediaPost, April 13, 2021 at 11:52 a.m.

    David: If you care to review previous articles on surveys and research, I think you'll find that I normally take pains to include methodology, including whether a survey sample is actually statistically representative of the universe it claims to represent, or the sample is designed to reflect U.S. Census demographics for a segment, etc. But you're right on Ampere-- they haven't yet replied to a query about methodology, and it should be included. I will update when they do, or add a statement indicating that they did not respond.

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