The pandemic taught us all how much streaming mattered to us. While stuck in our homes, the televisions were constantly on. We were finding hidden gems, rewatching our favorites, and becoming fans of new releases.
On the surface, I would have told you that Netflix had a wonderful year. But that's not the truth.
New data shared by Ampere Analysis shows that Netflix currently holds 20% of the U.S. streaming market. That should be good, but at the start of the year, they were at 29%. That's a huge drop.
And while they added a company record 36.58 million new accounts globally in 2020, Netflix’s U.S. market share had a 31% drop in the last year.
Disney has skyrocketed with content aimed at families, something sorely sought after while people were stuck at home. Amazon also climbed the chain, and while Apple and HBO Max limped in behind, they had big releases like The Snyder Cut and even Greyhound which attracted viewers. They even got the next Scorsese movie, which is sure to put them in the conversation for awards as well.
While Netflix still is seen as the standard, its share of the market is being pulled away more rapidly than anyone saw coming.
So what are companies to do? Everyone seems to be prioritizing content. That's good for writers and directors. It means that buyers need more titles to attract eyes. Netflix can't keep relying on showing studios' back catalogs, especially as more and more studios come into the streaming game.
If I were Netflix, I wouldn't freak out. More people at home means more time to explore other applications. As long as it continues to provide marquee services, it should be popular.
Still, Disney is hot on its tail, and releasing popular Marvel and Star Wars content in droves over the next years. They'll have to find their own hot names to keep up with the tidal wave of content coming.
One thing that's for certain is that the playing field in streaming is evening out faster than anyone could have predicted.
Let us know what you think in the comments.