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Data and analytics company GlobalData predicts that, before 2020 is over, the number of TV streaming accounts will surpass a billion globally, forecasted to reach 1.1 billion, surpassing pay TV accounts for the first time.
The company’s latest report, Thematic Research: Internet TV, says this will mark a watershed moment in the history of TV consumption, and illustrates how the streaming revolution has changed the way that people consume TV content forever.
‘‘Internet TV will be the single most important technology driving earnings in the film and TV industry over the next two years,” says Danyaal Rashid, Thematic Analyst at GlobalData. “There has been a rise in the number of users cutting the cord on their traditional pay TV subscriptions and opting instead for a range of subscription video on demand (SVOD) services. This has not only been driven by the cost benefits of switching to cheaper SVOD platforms, but also the flexibility and range of content offered by these providers.’’
While Netflix was long the dominant player in the race, and arguably still is, many others have joined, like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access and, in Canada, Crave. Most recently, there has been the addition of Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and Peacock.
‘‘The increased competition in this space has led to a content war,” adds Rashid. “Players are building up their content libraries in an effort to outperform the rest, but this has come at a high price. For example, Netflix spent $15 billion on content in 2019.”
But Rashid notes that while content is a critical factor, it will not help one player win the war against the others. Additional factors will play an important role, including an intuitive user interface aided by AI. “This is an area where Netflix has been leading,” says Rashid, “but other players are racing to catch up.”