COVID-19 has transformed the streaming video competitive landscape

November 12, 2021
3 min read

Disney+ Day is here, which means the release of a slew of movies, TV shows, and shorts for the Disney+ platform. Disney’s investment into its streaming service is not unique, and is just one example of how much the media landscape has changed over the past few years.

COVID-19 was a transformative event for streaming video media, as theaters shut down and consumers spent significantly more leisure time at home, leading to more in-home video consumption. As a result, media companies shifted to focus on direct-to-consumer services to continue to reach consumers. Studios have committed to shorter theatrical windows for new blockbuster films so they can put their movies on their respective streaming platforms, not to mention WarnerMedia going the nuclear route and releasing their movies both in theaters and on its HBO Max platform simultaneously. These moves come at an expense to their box office ticket revenues but elevate their streaming platforms, which garner consistent monthly paying subscribers.

Competition making gains on Netflix’s leading position

In a hyper-competitive video streaming market, while Netflix remains the top SVoD service used among US consumers, competing services are making gains on Netflix’s lead. Amazon Prime Video remains in second and competitors like Disney+, HBO Max, and Apple TV+ have increased their overall usage among SVoD users in the past two years due to the massive investments made in the content of their respective services.

Share of SVoD users using five or more services has more than quadrupled since 2019

The growth of usage among various services shows how much streaming video has grown as a mix of consumer entertainment. While the total share of SVoD users has remained stable from 2020 to 2021, those same users are accessing more services than before. According to upcoming Mintel research on streaming video, one in 10 SVoD users use seven or more services and the share of consumers who use five or more SVoD services has more than quadrupled since April 2019. The launch of new services and the new content on those platforms have increased the variety of services SVoD users access. Mintel expects SVoD usage to ramp up further as it gains a wider overall audience, and that audience expands the services they have access to.

What we think

The streaming video category looks poised for continued growth for lesser-used SVoD streaming services like Disney+ and HBO Max. More consumers are using digitally based media consumption, services are dedicating more content to their platforms, and consumers are increasing the library of content they have by subscribing to even more additional services. Content will be the key to increasing consideration among new streaming video users and current users looking to add new services. Quality programs will also help retain current subscribers by keeping their services culturally relevant and away from any cancellation considerations when a consumer looks to lower their spending or shift it from one service to another.

Buddy Lo
Buddy Lo

Buddy Lo is a Senior. Technology and Consumer Electronics analyst at Mintel. He is responsible for researching and writing reports on technology and consumer electronics.

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