The elephant in the room propping up most of the figures in our recently released worldwide subscription over-the-top (sub ott) forecast is Netflix, the industry leader by a wide margin. This year, 35.0% of the world’s sub OTT video service users will be watching Netflix, which amounts to 658.0 million viewers.
Our figure for worldwide Netflix viewers far exceeds Netflix’s self-reported user number. Netflix’s internal figure compiles only individual streaming subscriptions. Our projection, on the other hand, tries to account for all the viewers in a household—or wider population—who tune in to something on Netflix at least once per month, via any given access point. Once we account for large families, group viewing, and rampant password-sharing, Netflix’s total viewership ends up nearly triple its paid subscriptions.
By our way of counting, Netflix will have three-quarters of a billion viewers by 2025.
Although only 35.0% of total sub OTT users will watch Netflix this year, the service still towers over every competitor. We do not yet have global projections for Netflix’s biggest challengers, like Disney and Amazon. But given how far along Netflix’s international expansion is compared with its competitors—and considering the viewer numbers of all these platforms in the US—we are certain that Netflix has an enormous lead.
Even China’s walled-garden providers (which have exclusive access to China’s 937.4 million digital video viewers) have been unable to accrue viewers like Netflix has. China’s leading service, Tencent Video, will have just 320.6 million viewers this year.