Compare this to the receding number of traditional for-pay (read cable and satellite) subscribers, a population that peaked in 2010 at 105 million households and since 2012 have lost 30 million subscribers.
2020: The year streaming took overStreaming service got a boost from COVID as 2020 proved to be a potent rocket fuel for streaming’s red-hot engine. People who already spent their weekends binge-watching favorite shows shifted into overdrive during pandemic lockdowns, consuming any content they could lay their eyes on. But even with this (literally) captive audience, cable continued hemorrhaging customers, losing between 5 million and 7 million subscribers that year, most of them migrating to streaming services.
How streaming services are stepping up their gameStreaming companies have also continued to leverage original content as a main selling point. Once relegated to the category of on-demand movies and reruns of network shows, streaming services are taking a bigger and bigger bite out of the original programming pie. In 2021, 559 original scripted television series were produced, more than double that rolled out in 2010.
Netflix continues to be the industry standard, a juggernaut of both quantity of subscribers (204 million as of January 2021) and quality of original programming, claiming nearly a third of the votes in the Cord Cutter News Cordie Awards voting. Prime Video, owned by Amazon, was second in subscribers (150 million) and fourth in Cordie voting. Disney Plus raced to 95 million subscribers and third place overall in just two years, and was second in Cordie voting, making the Mouse a force to be reckoned with.
Cable stalwarts HBO, Discovery and ESPN have also gotten the message about streaming, and have become very adept at leveraging the popularity of their content to become major players in their own right.
Streaming services are also becoming important value-added products for third-party vendors and even equipment manufacturers. Buy any smart TV these days and it comes already preprogrammed to carry certain streaming channels, easing setup and improving the overall experience.