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World-Wide Streaming Subscriptions Pass One Billion During Pandemic

We’re a streaming society.
(Said Marroun)
(Said Marroun)
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The world now has 1.1 billion streaming subscriptions to online video services, according to data from the Motion Picture Association, WSJ reports.

Why It Matters: It’s a number obviously juiced by the Covid-19 pandemic, which kept people locked down and seeking entertainment at home. But if there was ever a reminder about where the future of content is going, here it is. And here to reap the benefits are companies such as Disney or Netflix with their hooks in deep on both hosting a platform and original content.

Meanwhile: The movie industry continues to crumble, though it appears more due to Covid-19 than streaming asserting its dominance. Global box-office revenues fell by a staggering $30 billion to $12 billion last year as theatres grappled with shutdowns.

  • Box-office revenues set a record at $42.3 billion the year prior.
  • “China passed the U.S. last year as the top country for box-office revenues.”

Numbers To Consider:

  1. Streaming subscriptions rose 26% in 2020 from the previous year.
  2. In the U.S. alone, it grew 32% to 308.6 million subscriptions.
  3. Netflix recently hit the 200 million subscriber milestone while Disney+ already has over 100 million despite it not even being two years old.
  4. Helping offset the lost revenues were direct-to-consumer earnings, with online rentals growing from $47.2 billion in 2019 to $61.8 billion last year.
  5. The number of episodic series is growing as Hollywood produces more content — new shows were up to 537 from 381 the year before.

Looking Ahead: The industry has softened on the divide between traditional outlets and online platforms, with Netflix ranking as one of Hollywood’s biggest movie studios. The number of streaming services continues to grow, but box-office money could be on its way back as Covid-19 vaccinations roll out and movie theaters reopen.

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