Netflix is clearly the king of streaming, but their reign may be starting to wobble just a little. For the first time ever, the streaming giant’s share of daily video streaming among adults in the US will decline.
In 2019, it was estimated that 27% of daily video streaming among adults in the United States was done through Netflix. That number was up from 25.7% in 2018 and 24.9% the year prior. But for 2020, that number is projected to drop to 25.7%, marking the very first year that number didn’t rise.
What’s to blame? Most likely, new entries to the market. Disney+ had a dazzling debut late last year, and HBO Max and Apple TV both have highly anticipated launches coming by mid-year, not to mention other services like Peacock and Quibi. Additionally, some users report simply getting tired of Netflix. After subscribing for several years, they feel like they’ve seen everything they care to watch.
But on the other end of things, the average time spent watching will grow. Averaged out for every adult in the US (even those without a subscription), Americans watched 29 minutes a day on Netflix, up from 27 minutes per person last year.
Let’s be realistic though – people love their Netflix and the company will likely stand on top of the streaming landscape for a long time. Daily time spent with Netflix passed YouTube several years ago, and this is projected to continue through 2021 and beyond.
But when you see reports that subscriber projections are falling short (for the fourth quarter of 2019, more than 600,000 new US signups were expected, but only 420,000 were gained) and see them resorting to tactics like exclusive content deals with cell phone manufacturers and offering content to non-subscribers, it’s clear they understand they’re going to have to work to keep subscribers.