Netflix is winning the video streaming wars

And Hulu beat out Amazon for the number 2 spot, finds Kantar research.
04 March 2020
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Global Strategic Insights Director, Worldpanel Division

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Kantar data shows that Netflix secured 23% of new Video on Demand (VoD) subscriptions in the 3 months to October 2019. This was closely followed by Hulu, which achieved 20% share.

56% of new VoD subscriptions were ‘stacked’ 2nd or 3rd subscriptions, and 30% were first time subscribers – of whom 31% chose Netflix as their first streaming experience.

Netflix also comes first (jointly with HBO Now) for customer advocacy: each has a very impressive NPS of +63. Amazon Prime Video and Hulu are 10 points lower.

Subscription fatigue hasn’t kicked in yet, with average consumers holding almost four video subscriptions and fewer than two audio subscriptions. And it would be fair to say that binge watching is definitely a mainstream viewing habit.

These are some of the initial findings from Kantar’s new Entertainment On Demand service, launching this week in the USA. Entertainment On Demand is designed to help the broadcast industry and investors understand the full consumer journey for digital video and music subscription services, and is based on a longitudinal panel of 20,000 consumers and boosted by 10,000 consumer interviews each quarter, including at least 2,500 new subscriber interviews.

The service provides fast, sophisticated and accurate research into behaviours like purchase triggers, post-purchase usage, loyalty and the customer experience, providing clients with a deep understanding of the reasons behind consumer subscription choice. Initially launching in the US in March 2020, Kantar Entertainment On Demand will also be available in the UK, Germany, Australia and Japan in the second half of the year.

Additional findings from the first quarter’s video subscription behaviours in the U.S. reveal:

  • Amazon Video ranked third in new subscriptions, followed by HBO in a distant 4th, with 6% share of new subscriptions.
  • Netflix is king of the ‘gateway subscription’, with a 31% share of first-time subscribers.43% of new Netflix subscribers were signing up to their first video subscription service. This was followed by HBO Now, for whom 32% of new subscriptions were first-time subscribers.
  • Hulu leads the market in ‘stacked’ subscriptions, with 67% of new Hulu subscribers already subscribing to another service.  
  • Hulu (closely followed by HBO Now) leads on ‘binge watching’, with 86% of their subscribers identifying it as important.
  • Subscription fatigue is not yet a major phenomenon in the industry: just 4% of new subscriptions were accompanied by the cancellation of another subscription. 6% of subscribers picking up Amazon Prime said they had simultaneously cancelled another service. But 52% are already saying there are too many subscription services.
  • With a net satisfaction of just +8% in ‘Value for Money’ – significantly lagging other subscription services – HBO Now may face future challenges in subscriber retention despite its overall strength in customer satisfaction.
  • Amazon Prime leads the pack in net satisfaction with the variety of TV series and films, while HBO has a marginal lead over Netflix on satisfaction related to original content.
  • Free trials and new smart TV purchases are the primary trigger for new subscriptions.
  • Netflix is winning the interface war, leading in ease of being able to pick up films/TV where you left off, search functionality, and suggestions of what to watch.
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