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Netflix last week celebrated a major milestone, when it announced it had surpassed 200 million global customers. Disney and other streamers have also recently used raw Subscriber counts as their primary success metric.

In total, ANTENNA data shows that subscribers in the Premium SVOD market grew 23% for the year in 2020, including an 8% increase from the end of Q3 to the end of Q4.

The streaming industry has been in pure scaling mode, so a simple count of total Subscriptions has made sense as the primary industry success metric. But as more and more households replace (or augment) their MVPD Subscriptions with a basket of streaming services, and manage their video spending habits with more rigor, the industry will need to measure success with a more nuanced set of market share metrics.

Figure 1 shows those basic Subscriber counts, overlaid with market share. We can see the dramatic change in the dynamics of the Premium SVOD market in 2020, as Disney+, Apple TV+, and Peacock launched; and HBO Max, Showtime, Starz, and CBS All Access gained traction. Netflix and Hulu had 75% market share at the end of Q3 2019, but 54% at the end of 2020. That drop was most notably driven by Disney+, which went from 1% to 18% share in that period.

Figure 2 shows the share of 2020 Subscriber growth for each Premium SVOD service. When we cut the data this way, we see that Disney+ accounted for almost a third of Subscriber growth last year; HBO Max (22%) and CBS All Access (13%) together accounted for just over another third; and the other six Premium SVODs split the final third of Net Subscriber Adds almost evenly.

Figure 3 shows share of Sign-ups, which includes both Free Trial sign-ups and paid subscription starts. Marketers in high growth categories often evaluate their relative success by tracking Share of Gross Adds (“SOGA”); it was a crucial metric that Verizon, AT&T, and other Carriers closely tracked in the big growth years of the mobile industry. In the streaming industry, a good way to assess SOGA is by counting Sign-ups. Sign-ups is the horsepower metric of customer acquisition for subscription businesses — how aggressively does the service bring customers in the door? SOGA shows how big market events can drive business: WW84 helped HBO Max to capture 23% of all Sign-ups last quarter, while Disney+ captured 55% of all Sign-ups in the quarter of its launch.

With Disney+, 2020’s big SOGA winner, now at a high level of U.S. market penetration; big programming expansions planned for Peacock and HBO Max; and the launch of Paramount+, SOGA promises to be an exciting metric to track for the Premium SVOD space in 2021.



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