US Streaming faces uncertainty, while Netflix’s crackdown pays off

4% of US households used a new streaming service in Q2 and Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, and Discovery+ see the fastest growth in subscriber share over the quarter.
26 July 2023
hannah avery

Client Manager, ComTech, Worldpanel Division

Get in touch

Worldpanel's Entertainment on Demand (EoD) study on the US streaming market uncovers the following behaviors and findings within the Video on Demand (VoD) market between April to June 2023:

  • 4% of US households used a new streaming service in the second quarter of the year, down from 6% the previous quarter, but in line with seasonal trends.
  • Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, and Discovery+ saw the fastest growth in subscriber share over the quarter
  • Ted Lasso on Apple TV+ was the most watched SVoD title in June, followed by Netflix’s Manifest, and Yellowstone on Peacock
  • Netflix planned subscription cancellation for Q2 2023 increased to 5% from 4% of its total US subscription base, off the back of password sharing restrictions
  • Top reasons for streaming video in Q2: #1 I want to relax after a long day, #2 I want something in the background, #3 I want something to lift my mood
  • Between April to June 2023, 116m US households held at least one VoD service, representing 90% of households

Writers and actors strike to create a challenging streaming landscape if content is delayed

For the past three years, Q2 has been a period of slower growth than Q1. The calendar of new releases is typically quieter during this time of the year in anticipation of new releases in the third quarter, where growth of the category typically recovers. The impact of the ongoing strikes in Hollywood is casting doubt on the industry’s performance in the coming months and year. Although immediately streaming services appear to be on schedule with release dates, many anticipated titles are already slated to be pushed back to 2024.

Content is king in video streaming, playing an important role in acquisition. A third of all new streaming services used in Q2’23 were driven by a specific title. At the same time, content is what drives engagement, and without new content disuse rises. Already 18% of streamers who don’t use a streaming service in their repertoire at least weekly are disengaged because there’s not enough new TV or film content. One in five are disengaged because they have too many subscriptions. When new releases are put on hold or postponed, we can expect increased competition, a challenging environment to win new subscribers, and an increase in churn as streamers evaluate their spending and the value they receive from streaming.

The streaming services who will fare best will be those that can fall back on an existing strong content library and an excellent user experience. Only one in five streamers are satisfied with an easy-to-use interface. For streaming services, there is room for improvement in order to differentiate oneself from competitors. Now is the time for services to invest in the user experience when content may be sparse.

Netflix password sharing crackdown proves profitable but may be risky for others to follow

In May Netflix rolled out its password sharing crackdown in the US, posting a positive story in their Q2 earnings and growth of subscriber numbers. This strategy had little impact on their total number of viewers, instead turning non-paying viewers into paying subscribers. In the month since the crackdown, fewer Netflix subscribers claimed they were using an account that someone else paid for. But looking beyond one month, these figures do not represent a large shift.

Netflix was likely safeguarded from exceptionally high churn as a result of its password-sharing crackdown due to its reputation for content. Even with all the competition in streaming, Netflix is still the top destination when streamers are looking to find a new series or film to watch. 34% of streamers choose Netflix when looking for a new series or film, followed by 13% who choose Prime Video.

For services looking to replicate Netflix’s strategy, it will be critical to understand how streamers rate and rank their service to properly analyze the risk in taking a similar step. Netflix has unique strengths that prevented churn, but not every service would see similar results.

Access the interactive data visualization tool for more information.


Note to Editors:

Updated Methodology

As the TV streaming market continues to experience rapid changes and adaptations in response to evolving consumer demands, Kantar Worldpanel recognizes the necessity of consistently monitoring and evaluating its methodology to ensure accurate reporting of its findings.

Kantar Worldpanel, responsible for the Entertainment on Demand study, became aware of an under-read on smaller Video on Demand (VOD) services that were introduced to the market after the initial launch of the study. In response to these changes, Worldpanel has proactively improved the methodology by adjusting how survey questions are phrased, incorporating a visual prompt of streaming services for panelists. This has significantly enhanced the precision of capturing services that might not be immediately top of mind within a household's portfolio, ensuring the study uses the most relevant and up-to-date categorization and terminology, providing a more inclusive and accurate representation of the whole streaming landscape.

Get in touch
Related solutions
Follow every step on the digital subscription customer journey to understand the music and video on demand spaces.
Uncover global purchasing and usage trends for mobile phones, tablets, TVs, wearable tech, and smartspeakers to make better business decisions.
VoD Market Share Data Visualisation
Use our data visualisation tool to explore current and historical VoD (Subscription Video on Demand) market data for your region.
View data viz