New streaming originals spell new subscribers—and new costs

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Four of the top US streaming services spent a record-smashing total of $11.15 billion on original content in 2021 as each platform vied to draw—and keep—subscribers. Netflix laid out $6.08 billion, more than the other three services combined. Amazon Prime Video grew its spending the fastest, by 105.3%, in a play for Netflix’s title as the leading subscription video streamer.

Beyond the chart: Original content is getting people to sign up in droves, but they don’t all stick around, per an Antenna study. Apple TV+ and Disney+ saw US sign-ups spike around their highly anticipated summer 2020 releases, though only about half were still subscribed six months later. To retain fickle viewers, these platforms will have to keep the captivating content coming—or rethink their subscription models.