With more streaming options than ever before, the digital streaming industry is drastically shifting. We take a look at the state of streaming in 2022 and beyond.
Considering that 16 million households in the UK are subscribed to at least one streaming service, it’s clear to see why so many brands are jumping on the bandwagon and wanting a slice of the action. The likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Now TV and Sky are becoming increasingly competitive and trialling new ways to drive growth as the market becomes more overcrowded. Let’s take a look at the state of the industry now and where it’s headed…
Where we are now
As of today (November 2022), Netflix remains the most dominant force within the streaming industry. The service currently sits at 223.09 million subscribers strong. However for the first time since 2019, Netflix has seen a decline in subscribers as 1 million users left the platform in favour of other options this year.
According to a recent report by JustWatch, Netflix accounts for a substantial 30% of UK streaming subscriptions, with Amazon Prime in a close second, accounting for 27%. Whilst Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions are declining, newbie streaming platform Disney+ (which currently accounts for 21% of UK subscriptions) has steadily gained new subscribers since the start of 2022. Whilst all of these streaming platforms offer a very similar service, they are experiencing very different realities in terms of growth. Let’s take a look at why.
Where it’s heading
After Disney left Netflix back in 2017, it was clear that Netflix needed to up their game in order to remain competitive. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case.
Whilst the majority of streaming services are losing subscribers, Disney+ appears to be rapidly gaining new users. So why is this? Well, as Netflix begins to charge subscribers for using the service in multiple locations and is in the process of rolling out sponsored ads across the platform, Disney+ is offering users exclusive merchandise and creating an immersive, customer-centric experience. These vastly different growth strategies are having significant consequences.
Soon, Disney+ account holders will have access to exclusive merchandise from the likes of Star Wars and Marvel. All users will have to do is scan an on-screen QR code to access and purchase the exclusive merchandise. This revolutionary move is another step towards increasing customer loyalty and gaining market share. With such high stakes, it’ll be interesting to see how the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime step up and compete with such an innovative strategy over the next few months.
One common element for success in the streaming industry is offering users a unique catalogue of original movies and shows. Whilst Netflix were once the dominating force in terms of original tv shows, movies and documentaries, the other streaming services have caught up and in some cases, overtaken Netflix in terms of their offering.
It’s clear that many streaming services are in turbulent water as they each try out new strategies to retain users and keep profits high. One thing’s for sure, it’ll be interesting to see how the industry evolves over the next few years.
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