This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the US Streaming Video market including streaming video market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the streaming video market in the US.

Current market landscape

Streaming video is enjoying another year of substantial growth. vMVPD usage increased from 19% of consumers to 30%, and while overall SVoD usage remained relatively stable, among users, the number of services consumers accessed increased significantly; the share of SVoD users accessing five or more different services increased from 19% to 34%.

COVID-19 has been a key driver of streaming video adoption, as consumers spent more time at home and invested more in home entertainment. As a result, overall spending is estimated to increase 25.3% in 2021 to reach $34.1 billion.

Future market trends in US Streaming Video

While spending on streaming video services is forecast to continue to increase, the high growth rate in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 is likely unsustainable, as the category will face increasing competition from reopening leisure segments like restaurants, movie theaters, and travel.

Streaming video services will continue to have opportunities for growth, especially as younger consumers who are already using streaming services at a high rate see gains in household income and adopt new services. Streaming brands can also increase revenues by targeting non-users, who skew more heavily toward older consumer segments, with appealing content.

Read on to discover more about the US Streaming Video consumer market, read our US Entertaining at Home: Incl Impact of COVID-19 Market Report 2020 report, or take a look at our other Entertainment research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer use and perceptions of streaming video services.
  • Streaming video consumption and use of SVoD services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+.
  • Streaming video behaviors such as binge watching, free trial usage and service cancellations.
  • Attitudes toward streaming video vs the movie theater experience.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, Sling, Peacock, Paramount+, Apple TV, HBO Max, AT&T, Walmart, Fubo TV, Showtime, Starz.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Buddy Lo, a leading analyst in the Technology and Consumer Electronics sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

COVID-19 has been a transformative event for streaming video, leading to significant investment by both media companies and consumers. Studios have committed to shorter theatrical windows, and more content exclusively for their streaming platforms, and consumers have responded by increasing their spending in the category to $31.4 billion. Streaming services are a fabric of modern pop culture, reaching a global audience, and will continue to grow in both monetary and social value.

Buddy Lo, Senior Technology Analyst
Buddy Lo
Sr. Technology and Consumer Electronics Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • COVID-19: US context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US spending and fan chart forecast of streaming video, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Impact of COVID-19 on streaming video
      • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on streaming video, 2021
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • vMVPD usage increases substantially as consumers turn to digital solutions
      • Figure 3: vMVPD usage, by gender and age, 2020 vs 2021
    • SVoD users are increasing the number of services they use
      • Figure 4: Breakdown of number of SVoD services used, 2019-22
    • Services invest in streaming platforms at the expense of their theatrical performance
      • Figure 5: HBO Max online display ad, 2021
    • Account sharing remains a delicate issue for subscription-based streaming services
      • Figure 6: SVoD account sharing, 2021
    • Home viewing experience is comparable to going to the movies
      • Figure 7: Attitudes toward video streaming – Theaters vs home viewing, 2021
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Streaming video market grows over 20% for second consecutive year
    • Spending on streaming video still has room for growth
    • vMVPD service usage doubles since 2019
    • Movie theaters reopen and draw more viewers
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • Streaming video spending eclipses 20% annual growth following COVID-19
      • Figure 8: Total US spending and fan chart forecast of streaming video, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 9: Total US spending and forecast of streaming video, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 10: Streaming video spending per US household, 2016-21
    • Impact of COVID-19 on streaming video
  5. Market Indicators

    • On-demand grows while live TV stagnates
      • Figure 11: Consumer spending on cable, satellite, other live TV; video/audio streaming and rental, 2010-21
    • Cord cutting continues
      • Figure 12: Cable, satellite and fiber optic subscriptions, 2017-21
    • Streaming eclipses traditional cable, satellite and broadcast TV
      • Figure 13: Video entertainment services used, 2021
    • vMVPD service usage doubles since 2019
      • Figure 14: Video entertainment services used, 2019-21
  6. Market Factors

    • Movie theaters reopen and draw growing attendance
      • Figure 15: Comfort with activities, 2021
    • Unlimited data plans shift consumers toward digital services
    • Streaming rights create a complicated web of access
    • Contracts in an era of streaming a point of contention
    • Reopening economy offers alternative leisure activities
  7. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Netflix remains the “go-to” streaming platform in the US
    • Amazon makes moves to bolster its library of content and programs
    • WarnerMedia goes all-in on its HBO Max platform
    • Netflix starts new partnerships with Walmart and Starbucks
  8. Key Players

    • Netflix continues to lead SVoD market while competitors gain ground
      • Figure 16: SVoD services used, 2021
  9. Competitive Strategies and Opportunities

    • Movie studios return to theatrical release after vaccine rollouts
    • Amazon acquires MGM studios, signs exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football
    • T-Mobile abandons TVision offering – replaces it with vMVPD services
    • WarnerMedia launches films in theaters and a brief window on HBO Max
      • Figure 17: HBO Max online display ad, 2021
    • Bundles with telecoms remain prevalent
    • Apple TV+ bundles with Paramount+, and Showtime discontinued in 2021
    • Amazon launches its own TV set
    • Netflix’s competitive strategy expands into new avenues and corporate partners
    • Netflix goes ‘Phygital’ with Walmart
    • Netflix and Starbucks partner for the Netflix Book Club
    • Gaming playing a larger role in Netflix’s future strategy
    • vMVPD services ramp up ad spend
      • Figure 18: Estimated vMVPD ad spend, Q3 2020-Q3 2021
      • Figure 19: Hulu display ad, 2021
      • Figure 20: YouTube TV display ad, 2021
      • Figure 21: Fubo TV display ad, 2021
  10. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Three in four consumers use streaming video services
    • Netflix remains on top – but faces increasing competition
    • SVoD users accessing even more services
    • Account sharing remains prevalent in SVoD category
    • Younger women more likely to share SVoD accounts
    • Binge watching a popular pastime
    • Higher volume SVoD users more likely to cancel a service
    • Sports programming a big driver for Millennial vMVPD usage
    • Home viewing a comparable experience to the movie theaters
    • Four segments of SVoD users identified
  11. Video Entertainment Services

    • Digital streaming captures nearly three quarters of the market
      • Figure 22: Video entertainment services used, 2020 vs 2021
    • Younger consumers continue to drive shift to digital video services
      • Figure 23: Video entertainment services used, by age, 2021
    • vMVPD usage skyrockets among younger women 18-34
      • Figure 24: vMVPD usage, by gender and age, 2020 vs 2021
  12. SVoD Services Used

    • Netflix continues to lead SVoD market while competitors gain ground
      • Figure 25: SVoD services used, 2020 and 2021
      • Figure 26: HBO Max Friends promotional display ad, 2020
      • Figure 27: HBO Max display ad, 2020
      • Figure 28: Apple TV+ Ted Lasso mobile advertisement, 2021
    • SVoD users have dramatically increased number of services they use
      • Figure 29: Breakdown of number of SVoD services used, 2021
      • Figure 30: Breakdown of number of SVoD services used, 2019-22
    • More than two in five Gen Z and Millennials use five or more SVoD services
      • Figure 31: Breakdown of number of SVoD services used, by generation, 2021
    • Parents use more streaming options for home entertainment
      • Figure 32: SVoD services used, by parental status, 2021
      • Figure 33: Breakdown of number of SVoD services used, by parental status, 2021
    • Black consumers over index for Hulu, Showtime and STARZ
      • Figure 34: SVoD services used, by race and Hispanic origin, 2021
    • Netflix and Amazon Prime Video remain primary services for limited consumers
      • Figure 35: SVoD services used, by number of services used, 2021
  13. SVoD Account Sharing

    • Disney+ the most-shared SVoD service
      • Figure 36: SVoD account sharing, 2021
    • Account sharing more prominent among women under 35
      • Figure 37: Age distribution, by SVoD account sharing, 2021
      • Figure 38: Gender and age distribution, by SVoD account sharing, 2021
    • Lower incomes lead to more outside account usage
      • Figure 39: Household income distribution, by SVoD account sharing, 2021
    • Consumers share accounts to access more services
      • Figure 40: Household income distribution, by SVoD account sharing, 2021
  14. SVoD Streaming Behaviors

    • Binge watching remains popular behavior
      • Figure 41: SVoD streaming behaviors, 2021
    • Viewing behaviors shift with generations
      • Figure 42: SVoD streaming behaviors, by generation, 2021
    • Parents are more premium subscribers but harder to retain
      • Figure 43: SVoD streaming behaviors, by parental status, 2021
    • Higher volume users more likely to cancel a service
      • Figure 44: SVoD streaming behaviors, by number of SVoD services used, 2021
    • Apple TV+’s limited library makes it susceptible to cancellations
      • Figure 45: SVoD streaming behaviors, by SVoD services used, 2021
  15. vMVPD Streaming Behaviors

    • Four in 10 vMVPD viewers use a non-TV device
      • Figure 46: vMVPD streaming behaviors, 2021
      • Figure 47: YouTube TV display ad, 2021
    • Older Millennials value sports programming for live TV
      • Figure 48: vMVPD streaming behaviors, by generation, 2021
  16. Attitudes toward Video Streaming

    • Home viewing experience comparable to going to the theaters
      • Figure 49: Attitudes toward video streaming – Theaters vs home viewing, 2021
    • Weekly releases generate more excitement for shows
      • Figure 50: Attitudes toward video streaming – Binge watching, releases and spoilers, 2021
    • Attitudes point to further SVoD adoption
      • Figure 51: Attitudes toward video streaming – Yearlong subscriptions, multiple services and account sharing, 2021
  17. Consumer Segments – SVoD Users

    • Four segments of SVoD users identified based on attitudes toward streaming video
      • Figure 52: Consumer segments of SVoD users, 2021
    • Pop Culture Consumers (24%)
    • Characteristics
      • Figure 53: Profile of Pop Culture Consumers, 2021
      • Figure 54: Breakdown of number of SVoD services used, by segments of SVoD users, 2021
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 55: SVoD behaviors, by segments of SVoD users
    • Theater Goers (30%)
    • Characteristics
      • Figure 56: Profile of Theater Goers, 2021
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 57: Attitudes toward video streaming, by segments of SVoD users, 2021
    • Home Viewers (24%)
    • Characteristics
      • Figure 58: Profile of Home Viewers, 2021
    • Opportunities
    • Binge Watchers (22%)
    • Characteristics
      • Figure 59: Profile of Binge Watchers, 2021
      • Figure 60: SVoD binge watching and attitudes toward binge watching, 2021
    • Opportunities
  18. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Marketing creative
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
  19. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 61: Consumer spending on video streaming and rental, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-20

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