Netflix will remain the most popular streaming service in the world for the foreseeable future, a new report predicts, but Disney+ will soon close the gap.
According to UK media consultancy Omdia (via Deadline (opens in new tab)), Netflix will have around 260m global subscribers by 2026, compared to around 240m for Disney+. However, considering Netflix already has around 220m, and Disney+ "only" 138m, you can see that the House of Mouse's streaming service is set to grow much more rapidly than its more established rival if this report is to be believed.
Indeed, that is actually already happening. According to Omdia, Disney+ grew by 21 per cent in the UK last year, compared to 8 per cent for Netflix.
As for the other global video streaming giant, Amazon Prime Video will top 150m subscribers globally by 2026, Omdia reckons, which will be about the same as the combined offering from HBO Max and Discovery+.
The research also found that people are cancelling their streaming services but then resubscribing again at an alarming rate. Omdia found cancellations of streaming services rose 45 per cent in the UK in the past 12 months, but resubscriptions rose by 84 per cent. That could be due to increased competition from new entrants like Discovery+ and Peacock, the cost-of-living crisis, in order to take advantage of deals only available to new subscribers, or a combination of all three.
Netflix is the UK's most popular video streaming service, with 15.5m subscribers. That's followed by Amazon Prime Video (10m) and Disney+ (7.5m). Four out of five UK households have a streaming subscription.
According to Omdia, UK consumers are spending more on streaming services now than they were 12 months ago, despite the escalating cost of living.
"In terms of dealing with rising costs, consumers prefer to cut other expenses than their own entertainment at home," Omdia Senior Director Maria Rua Aguete told the Connected TV Summit. "In fact, as the survey reveals, cuts in other spending have allowed them to subscribe to extra services."
Netflix recently slashed 150 jobs as a result of losing 200,000 subscribers in the last quarter – the first time it's lost customers in over a decade. It expects to lose a further 2m before July.
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So either it produces its own quality content, or negotiates to keep franchises.
Let's see if The Gray Man is worth $200m, or even worth watching.
And when Prime airs Lord Of The Rings, what will Netflix have to lure viewers away?