The digital video market shows promising figures for the next few years. The number of digital video users worldwide is expected to rise from nearly 472.5 million in 2015 to over 800 million in 2021. Rentals or subscription-based services (SVoD) such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Instant Video are expected to account for 30 percent of this total, with forecasted revenues of around 16 billion U.S. dollars by 2021. Just under half of this total revenue is projected to be generated in the United States, one of the SVoD biggest markets in the world. Amongst all digital video services in the U.S., SVoD has the second highest penetration rate – around 25 percent. This figure is expected to exceed 30 percent by 2021.
Netflix is the leading streaming media provider in the United States. With 8.8 billion U.S. dollars in revenues in 2016, Netflix has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years. The number of Netflix users in the U.S. is projected to increase from 120 million users in 2016 to almost 140 million by 2020. Original programming, convenience of on-demand streaming programming, cost effectiveness and range of content are a few of the leading reasons users choose Netflix over its main competitors, Hulu and Amazon Prime Instant Video. The popularity of original content such as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Stranger Things has led to an increasing proportion of Netflix customers devoting their viewing time to Netflix original shows.
Amazon Prime Instant Video, a service offered by the billion-dollar internet retailer Amazon, also has a significant presence in the United States. There were 65.2 million Amazon Prime Instant Video users in the United States in 2015. This figure is expected to grow to 88.6 million in 2019.
Hulu, also a major player in the video streaming service market, has similar growth projections. The number of Hulu's paying subscribers worldwide has increased from less than one million in 2011 to 12 million in 2016. During a recent survey in the United States, 23 percent of those who subscribe to an online video service stated that they had an active Hulu Plus subscription, with the service being most popular amongst Millennials.
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