Movies

New research shows the average US household now subscribes to 4 streaming services — and it could lead to a major shift in the market

  • The average US streaming household subscribes to four streaming services, according to a new report by research firm Ampere Analysis.
  • Across the US and western Europe, Ampere said that almost 10% of streaming homes subscribe to five or more services.
  • The research company said that "compounding," or bundling, streamers should be the "the next step in the evolution of the streaming market." 
  • Streaming saw a big surge in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic and companies like Disney and WarnerMedia restructured around their streaming businesses.
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Streaming saw a major surge in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic forced consumers to stay home.

Netflix continued its dominance (it's nearing 200 million subscribers worldwide) while Disney Plus exceeded expectations (it hit 87 million subscribers in just over a year). New competitors emerged, from WarnerMedia's HBO Max to NBCUniversal's Peacock, with distinctive strategies and pricing tiers.

In a report published on Monday, the research firm Ampere Analysis estimated that the average US streaming household now subscribes to four different streaming services. Across the US and western Europe, Ampere said that almost 10% of streaming homes subscribe to five or more services.

The boom could result in a big strategy shift called "compounding," or bundling, Ampere Analysis predicted in its report, saying that it should be "the next step in the evolution of the streaming market." 

READ MORE: Hulu insiders say the company's culture has changed under Disney and question its future path after a scrapped international expansion

Ampere Analysis noted that this is different than aggregation platforms like Roku and Amazon Fire services, which are the two biggest streaming distributors.

What the company is suggesting is offering a package of streaming services at a discount. On their own, the major streaming services cost anywhere from $5 a month (Apple TV Plus and Peacock Premium with ads) to $15 a month (HBO Max).

"AVOD, studio-direct streaming launches, the strengthening of local and broadcaster-led streaming, and the turbo-boost that came out of the blue in the form of COVID-19 have brought the industry to a pivot point," said Guy Bisson, the Ampere Analysis research director, in the report. "That pivot point will lead to a shift in thinking that will change the way content creators, distributors and content aggregators, platforms and channels think about streaming in the wider TV market. In 2021, compounding is here to stay in every portion of the streaming value chain."

Media companies that have recently entered the streaming space have offered deals of their own to entice subscribers. Disney in particular offers a bundle of its three streaming platforms in the US — Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus — at $13 per month. 

Ampere noted that companies have recently restructured themselves around their streaming businesses amid the pandemic, from WarnerMedia to Disney. And services already compound content. 

For example, WarnerMedia has collected its niche offerings into one flagship streamer. Original content on the fan-centric DC Universe has migrated over to Max, and Max currently includes a hub for the anime-focused service Crunchyroll (WarnerMedia sold Crunchyroll to Sony last month, but it's unclear if that means the Max hub will disappear).

Disney is doing something similar in Europe, where the India-based Star platform will be a section in the Disney Plus app. Ampere Analysis said that this content compounding is likely to increase this year.

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