Netflix's dominance in streaming market takes a hit amid pandemic

Netflix's dominance in streaming market takes a hit amid pandemic
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Netflix saw its dominance of the U.S. streaming market slip during 2020 as new competitors emerged and the coronavirus pandemic forced many Americans to remain in their homes.

According to Ampere Analysis data shared with TheWrap, Netflix's share of the U.S. streaming market fell from 29 percent at the start of 2020 to 20 percent, a drop of 31 percent.

Netflix reportedly still had the most U.S. subscribers of any streaming service — about 67 million — as of January.


Amazon Prime also saw a drop in U.S. market share, the news outlet noted. The company previously controlled 21 percent of the streaming market and is now down to 16 percent, a drop of 24 percent, according to an analysis. About 54 million Prime users use the video app in the U.S., TheWrap reported.

The drops experienced by Amazon Prime and Netflix come after the launches of  competitors such as HBO Max and Disney+ in 2020. 

Ampere Analysis Research Manager Toby Holleran told TheWrap he expects Disney+ to “overtake both HBO Max and Hulu” in the first half of this year and “finish the year as the third largest streaming service in the U.S., with Hulu taking the fourth spot, and HBO Max taking fifth.”

The news comes as the streaming market is exploding globally; more than 1 billion people around the world now pay for at least one subscription streaming service.

Streaming's surge in popularity is seen as a warning sign for the struggling U.S. movie theater industry, which saw businesses close for the COVID-19 pandemic last year and many have yet to reopen. A number of companies including Warner Brothers opted to release films exclusively through streaming platforms or simultaneously alongside theater runs, a model that theater owners worry will cut significantly into their business.