Prime Video has supplanted Netflix as the No. 1 subscription streaming outlet in the U.S. in an annual ranking compiled by research firm Parks Associates. (See full chart below.)
The company didn’t disclose its methodology for how it isolates the number of Prime Video subscribers, a metric long cloaked in secrecy due to Amazon’s general reluctance to disclose statistics about its Prime business. Still, Parks has been a reputable tracker of the streaming space for more than a decade. For many years in the 2010s, its rankings looked consistent, with the former “Big 3” of Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu sharing the top three spots, always with Netflix at the top. Today, the rankings are much more fragmented given how many new players have entered the scene. The list reflects total subscribers through September 2022, via the OTT Video Market Tracker, a Parks offering described by the firm as “an exhaustive analysis of market trends and profiles of the nearly 100 over-the-top video service providers in the U.S. and Canada.”
Amazon said last year it has more than 200 million Prime members, with Prime Video among the program’s benefits. Several weeks ago, the company also recently said The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has been viewed by more than 100 million Prime subscribers worldwide. CEO Andy Jassy, during an appearance at the New York Times DealBook conference, called Prime Video “a really important ingredient” in luring subscribers to Prime, which also offers free shipping, discounts at Whole Foods Market and other perks. “It’s always been something that has driven Prime subscriptions,” Jassy said of the video offerings, “but increasingly we see more and more people signing up to Prime because of the video content.”
Netflix, meanwhile, has hit a plateau in the U.S., even shedding a small amount of subscribers over recent quarters. The company reported 73.4 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada as of September 30, up 100,000 from the previous quarter but below levels in 2021 and earlier this year. Stalling subscriber momentum is the main reason the company hastily entered the advertising business, announcing a cheaper, ad-supported subscription plan in the U.S. and nearly a dozen other countries. That $7 tier launched last month.
On a global basis, of course, Netflix continues to lead the field with a bit more than 223 million subscribers. Disney has been hot on its heels, with Disney+ now at 164.2 million and the company overall reaching 235.7 million across Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+.
The rest of the 2022 chart looks relatively similar to the 2021 edition, though NBCUniversal’s Peacock broke through to take the No. 10 spot as Showtime dropped out of the picture. With 15 million paying subscribers, Peacock has been a slower growth story than many rivals, though it is on track with NBCU’s projections for monthly active users. Live sports offerings like the World Cup, Premier League soccer and Major League Baseball, as well as the WWE and an influx of first-run movies have helped Peacock gradually gain traction. Showtime, meanwhile, is in something of a limbo state as parent Paramount Global has fused it with Paramount+ and made some streamlining moves in its executive ranks, casting doubt on the future of Showtime as a stand-alone streaming entity. Deadline