Streaming Study Finds Netflix, Hulu Led In New Subscriptions – In Pre-Disney+ Era

Netflix secured 23% of new video on demand subscriptions in the three months up to October, 2019, closely followed by Hulu, with 20%, according to a new study by media research firm Kantar released Wednesday.

The firm collected data from 20,000 streamers and non-streamers, including at least 2,500 new subscriber interviews.

The quarter doesn’t include numbers for Disney+, which launched Nov. 12 and had 28.6 subscribers as of Feb, 3. Nor does it include Apple TV, launched a month earlier, in October. That may have an estimated 33 million users, but most are not paying subscribers, according to Ampere Analysis, another research group. Dominic Sunnebo, Global Director for Kantar’s Worldpanel division, said during a conference call that a report in April will include the two newest entrants. But he said the data, for a new Kantar product, shows an incredibly competitive market that’s will become increasingly so with the addition of Peacock ad HBO Max this spring.

Kantar’s research showed Amazon Video ranked third in new subscriptions, followed by HBO in a distant fourth with 6% share.

Some 30% of new subscribers were first time subscribers – of whom 31% chose Netflix as their first steaming experience. Netflix remains “king of the ‘gateway subscription,” Kantar said The rest, or 56% of new VOD subscriptions, were for second or third services.

Kantar found Netflix is tied in first place with HBO Now for customer satisfaction for video. Hulu leads on binge watching, with 86% of their subscribers identifying it as important, followed closely by HBO Now.

The study was part of Kantar’s new Entertainment on Demand service, which wants to provide a detailed understanding of purchase and usage trends among video and audio streaming markets and consumer behavior on purchasing decision, loyalty and customer experience.

Subscription fatigue apparently hasn’t kicked in yet, with average consumers holding almost four video subscriptions (3.9 on average to be precise). Yet some 52% of those polled are already saying there are too many subscription services.

Some 43% of new Netflix subscribers were signing up to their first video subscription service. Followed by HBO Now, for whom 32% of new subscriptions were first-time subscribers. Hulu leads the market in so-called stacked subscriptions, with 67% of new Hulu subscribers already subscribing to another service.

Only 4% of new subscriptions were accompanied by the cancellation of another subscription. About 6% of subscribers picking up Amazon Prime said they had simultaneously cancelled another service. Yet some 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 – so HBO Max, with its broad content offering, may be coming in the nick of time,

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. Amazon is catching up as it invests more in originals.

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 movies and TV shows where a consumer left off, of search functionality and suggestions of what to watch.

In music, Kantar said Spotify reigns with 29% of new audio streaming subscriptions in the three months to October 2019. Pandora is a clear second with 18% share followed by Amazon Music with 12% and Apple Music with an 11% share.

In all, 61% of music subscriptions in the quarter were first-time subscribers, 20% were signing for second or more subscription, and 11% of subscriptions in the quarter were switches from one service to another – far ahead of 4% switching seen in video streaming market, Kantar noted. There is less exclusivity in music, which most artists present on all platforms.

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