Analysts: U.S. Streaming Penetration Hits 80%; Netflix Q1 Subs Should Exceed Its Projection

New services including Paramount+ and Peacock, and nonpaid streaming users, pushed streaming’s penetration in U.S. households up to 80% in Q1— up from 74% in Q1 2021, according to a new report from MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson.

As a group, the largest streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, saw relatively growth, and penetration in homes with paid streaming subs was flat overall, says the report, which is based on a monthly survey by HarrisX.

But Paramount+ and Peacock gained 350 and 235 basis points in penetration, respectively. Peacock has a free, ad-supported tier as well as fewer-ads tiers for $4.99 and $9.99 per month, while Paramount+ is $4.99 with ads and $9.99 without ads. Paid streamer HBO Max ($9.99 with ads $14.99 without) saw a 185-basis-point gain.

Discovery+ ($4.99 with ads, $6.99 without) had little growth but rivaled Netflix and Hulu in daily users.

As media owners increasingly shift content to their streaming assets, traditional paid television operations will suffer even greater subscriber defections, Nathanson wrote.

Meanwhile, with Netflix set to report its first quarter results on April 19, most analysts have been projecting that the company will exceed its own estimate of 2.5 million net subscription adds — a projection that caused its stock price to plummet.

While 2.8 million is the predominant analyst projection, Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall bumped his estimate up from 2.5 million to 2.9 million, and BMO Capital Markets’ Daniel Salmon lowered his from 2.48 million to 1.76 million.

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