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Netflix is still the king of streaming, despite Disney+ success

Netflix is again the undisputed king of streaming services as evidenced by the latest audience report from Nielsen, the television ratings expert. Netflix accounted for 31% of all streaming on televisions, with YouTube coming in second at 21%. The report also showed streaming service usage had almost doubled in the past two years. 

Hulu and Amazon rounded out the top four at 12% and 8%, respectively. What may come as a surprise is that the rest of the field, which includes the rapidly expanding Disney+, accounted for 28% of television streaming viewership — not quite as much as Netflix alone. 

The results of what has been called the “streaming wars” were just part of the Nielsen study, which also found 60% of the 1,000 people surveyed have subscribed to more than one streaming service. It also found nearly 40% would add an additional service to their monthly subscriptions as the number of options continues to increase. Only 3% said they had plans to drop one of their streaming services. 

Nielsen’s report also indicated another staggering figure; there are nearly 650,000 unique titles available for viewing across all available viewing platforms whether streaming or broadcast. And, that was just in 2019 and does not include individual episodes. 

Only a fraction, about 9%, of the 646,152 available titles are available on streaming services only and 16% are on regular television. The means most content is multiplatform, indicating that streaming services have an even bigger potential to expand offerings.

It also means there could be space for more streaming services. Nielsen senior vice president of audience insights Peter Katsingris told The Hollywood Reporter “there’s room for new entrants into the environment.” ViacomCBS, Quibi, WarnerMedia, and Comcast are all looking to offer new or expanded services this year and Disney+ announced it would be expanding globally in the next year

Overall, Nielsen’s latest report showed streaming made up 19% of television watching at the end of 2019, which is up from 10% at the beginning of 2018. Katsingris said while Nielsen has not broken down streaming time for each service, it plans on doing so in the future. He noted Netflix’s share of 28% could get even larger when considering that metric and our tendencies towards ‘binge-watching.’ but he also noted: “Not to say [consumers] are not watching the other brands, they just have more options now and are shifting their behaviors. People go from platform to platform depending on what’s available. But as the [new services] mature we’ll break them out, because we definitely want to see the impact a new streaming service does have on this ecosystem.”

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Mythili Sampathkumar
Mythili is a freelance journalist based in New York. When not reporting about politics, foreign policy, entertainment, and…
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