Parks names top 10 OTT services for 2018

Parks Associates has released its updated list of the top 10 subscription over-the-top (OTT) video services in the U.S. market, based on ...

Streaming media players near 40% penetration
Streaming media players near 40% penetration

Parks Associates has released its updated list of the top 10 subscription over-the-top (OTT) video services in the U.S. market, based on estimated number of subscribers. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu continue to hold the top-three slots, with HBO Now and Starz moving into the top five. The top 10 include:

  1. Netflix
  2. Prime Video Users (Amazon Prime)
  3. Hulu (SVOD)
  4. HBO Now
  5. Starz
  6. MLB.TV
  7. Showtime
  8. CBS All Access
  9. Sling TV
  10. DIRECTV Now

"Which company is the leading OTT video subscription service remains a topic of debate," said Brett Sappington, Parks' senior director of research. "According to our estimates, Amazon has more Prime Members than Netflix has subscribers. However, when you consider only those Prime Members that use Prime Video, Netflix is the largest. Hulu remains the third largest, but continues to grow its subscriber base."

The research house notes the rise of a second tier of OTT video services from services with recognized brands, including several with high profile original content. Online pay TV services Sling TV and DirecTV NOW round out the top 10, ahead of similar services Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue. Online pay TV has been one of the fastest growing segments in the OTT video space, with aggressive marketing by all.

"HBO, Starz, Showtime and CBS All Access demonstrate the powerful attractiveness of original content through series like 'Game of Thrones' and 'Star Trek: Discovery,'" Sappington said. "This pattern suggests new services such as WarnerMedia's DC Universe and the forthcoming streaming service from Disney could achieve success quickly."

The top subscription sports OTT video services are MLB.TV, WWE Network, and ESPN+. MLB.TV continues to lead the sports OTT subscription category, benefiting from its long tenure as a streaming service and popularity among dedicated baseball fans. WWE also has a dedicated fan base and publicly reported having more than 1.2 million U.S. subscribers at the end of Q3 2018. ESPN+ is a newcomer to the OTT video marketplace, but recently announced that it had exceeded 1 million subscribers.

Other findings indicate:

  • OTT video subscription penetration has reached 64% of U.S. broadband households. More than two-thirds subscribe only to one of the top three services, Netflix, Prime Video, or Hulu.
  • The online pay TV audience is similar to the OTT audience - they are younger and quicker to adopt new technologies when compared to traditional pay TV households.
  • Over the past three years, OTT churn rates have gradually fallen each year from 31% of OTT subscriptions cancelled each year in 2015 to 28% in 2018.
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