New data from the US research firm Parks Associates shows that Amazon Prime Video has pushed Netflix from the top streaming spot in America. Certains caveats apply, though.
It’s the first time since Park started collating the data that Netflix, a long-time leader, has not been number one. The company’s annual Top 10 US Subscriptions OTT (over-the-top) Video Services is based on estimated numbers of subscribers through September 2022 from the firm’s OTT Video Market Tracker.
Amazon Prime Video, which has more than 200 million subscribers, has been showing off this year with its offerings, which included The Lord of Rings: The Rings of Power series. It’s pricey as it has a $1 billion budget, and, even if the show disappointed some of the critics, it undoubtedly attracted new subscribers.
The company said recently that this particular show has been viewed by more than 100 million Prime subscribers worldwide.
There’s a caveat, of course – especially in the American market. Amazon has always been really aggressive in marketing Prime Membership and its, well, prime appeal – fast and free shipping.
This basically means Prime Video is an extra feature that is not the main reason Americans subscribe to the service.
Besides, Parks didn’t disclose its methodology for how it isolates the number of Prime Video subscribers, a metric long cloaked in secrecy due to Amazon’s general reluctance to disclose statistics about its Prime business.
Of course, Netflix’s fall from the top spot is not entirely surprising given that the company had been struggling and bleeding subscribers for much of 2022, even though it bounced back in the second half of the year.
Besides, Netflix has been cracking down on password sharing and pushing freeloaders to open up their own paid accounts. Finally, customers in various countries are now able to subscribe to a cheaper ad-based tier.
“Netflix’s ad-supported plan gives the company a way to win back subscribers who left over high subscription prices. It also gives Netflix a path to creating unique accounts for those who have been content to share passwords with friends and family in the past. It’s an exciting time to track these services, with lots of disruption and change,” Jennifer Kent, Vice President of Research at Parks, said.
Overall, the chart reflects how many new players have entered the scene. While for many years the “Big 3” of Netflix, Prime Video, and Huu consistently shared the top three sports, other platforms are catching up.
“Streaming services are introducing new content, services, and partnerships that are changing how consumers interact with video,” Kent said.
Disney’s case is especially interesting. Disney-owned Hulu comes up third in the ranking and is ahead of Disney+ (4th), and this raises some strategic questions for the company, such as why these two high-profile platforms aren’t merged to become number one.
Parks data also found that 83% of broadband households have at least one OTT service, with 23% adopting nine or more OTT subscriptions. Aside from Amazon Prime’s move into the top slot, the data also shows NBCUniversal’s Peacock joining the top ten for the first time.
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