StoryScout 2024

Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

Streamers will reach 1.2 billion subscribers worldwide. Pressure mounts on the legacy channels / broadcaster model and its producers

1.2 billion video subscribers by 2025.

That’s the total global SVOD customer base estimated by leading U.S. platforms.

Netflix tops the list at 341 million!

Here are the numbers collated by leading industry analyst LightShed Research.

Takeaways: Full Steam Ahead.

  • Legacy studios and channels operators are now “ALL IN!” to the streaming strategy.
  • Consumers are adding streaming services in such numbers that we’re no longer concerned that Netflix, Disney+ and the others are competing to the bitter end for the same customers.

How Big Can It Get?

Source: Documentary Business

  • The available market for future growth is video stream-able Internet users worldwide.
  • If you can stream video on your pc, laptop or other device, you’re a potential SVOD customer.
  • In my Netflix 2021 Guide (pdf), I forecast an available global market of 4.5 billion of these video stream-able Internet users by 2026.
  • That’s more than triple today’s available market.
  • There’s lots of growth ahead for the global streamers, though increasingly in markets with less discretionary household income available for online entertainment.

Takeaways: Losers

  • Linear channels are rapidly losing subscribers, and with them, affiliate fees.
  • For example, ESPN’s U.S. subscriber base shrunk to the mid-70 millions from a peak of 100+ mn.
  • Viewing is also down, and that erodes the channels’ advertising revs.
  • The legacy channels’ revenue losses will accelerate as the streamers grab more rights to major Sports franchises.
  • Live Sports drives customer loyalty to the cable bundle that once created boom times for producers who served Factual channels like Discovery, Nat Geo and History.

What producers need to know!

  • Read and listen to my conversations with industry expert Dan Salerno about how the channels are responding to the rise of the streamers.
  • Here we discuss Nat Geo / Disney+ and here is our most recent coverage of the launch discovery+.

Protective regulation, please!

  • It’s clear to me  that the factual producer community in the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Australia and elsewhere will be hit hard as local broadcasters lose viewers and revenues to global streamers.
  • These territories will become “offshore markets” and for U.S.-based majors, rather than burgeoning regional production centers.
  • Producers in the territories outside U.S. must fight ferociously to legislate local content quotas for the streamers.

Notes to LightShed Chart

  • The data is provided by the streamers themselves in their public communications.
  • Excludes Apple TV+ which has never shared video subscriber totals or forecasts.
  • Amazon Prime subscribers are categorized as video subs, although they may not use Prime Video.
  • Many international markets generate negligible revenues.