Netflix usage in the United States - statistics & facts
Netflix has long remained the undisputed champion and blueprint of online video streaming in the United States. After more than two decades of unparalleled growth across its most lucrative market, however, the streaming giant suffered a substantial blow to its audience size recently. Company filings revealed that the number of Netflix subscribers in the U.S. and Canada dropped by over two million in the first two quarters of 2022, which was a more significant subscriber loss than it was recorded in any of Netflix's other markets. And even though the downward trend was reversed in the following quarters, the U.S. and Canada have forfeited their spot as Netflix's largest market. But why did U.S. viewers branch off, and what steps is the company taking to retain viewers in today's crowded streaming landscape?
How Netflix combats subscriber loss in a competitive market
In 2023, the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) penetration rate in the U.S. stood at over 80 percent, highlighting the high saturation of the streaming market. Data also showed that Netflix added fewer new subscribers than for example Prime Video in recent years, suggesting that Amazon could dethrone Netflix by 2027. To turn this trend around and leverage the vast pool of non-paying Netflix users, the company started to charge for account-sharing features in the first half of 2023. After all, 16 percent of interviewed U.S. streaming viewers reported accessing Netflix via password sharing without subscribing to the service themselves. Netflix also recently introduced an ad-based subscription tier at lower rates to draw (back) viewers and secure its position in the market. And yet, the ad-supported plan accounted for around 20 percent of total Netflix sign-ups in the U.S. in mid-2023 – still a smaller share than that for the more popular subscription-based versions.
What are audiences watching on Netflix?
As of June 2023, Netflix was the most well-known video-on-demand brand in the United States. One of the service’s main appeals is its catalog of original content, and over the past few years, the company has ramped up production of original titles all across the globe. In 2022, Netflix’s "Stranger Things" and "Ozark" were the most viewed original TV series on SVOD services in the U.S., with roughly 52 billion and 31 billion viewing minutes respectively. On a global scale, the first season of "Wednesday" was Netflix's most popular English-language series as of October 2023. The comedy horror series accumulated more than 252 million views within the first three months on the platform and will likely draw similar numbers to their screens upon the release of the second season.
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