The United States OTT Market is expected to register a CAGR of approximately 11.22% in terms of revenue and approximately 2.25% in terms of subscribers over the forecast period (2021-2026). The United States is one of the largest OTT markets in the world.
- The high penetration of smart devices, like smart TV and smartphone, growing demand for VOD content, and a high rate of per-user payment are some of the major factors driving the country's OTT market. Also, most of the top global OTT vendors, like Netflix and Amazon, are US-based, which further provides an advantage to the regional market.
- The increasing gravitation toward OTT content simultaneously frees US citizens from cables, geographic restrictions, and broadcast schedules and fundamentally changes the way video is sold, produced, and consumed. Increasing adoption, thus, has been attributable to the narrow genre choices, packages flexibility, wider device availability, internet penetration, and overall lower costs. Netflix and Amazon are the most commonly subscribed OTT platforms in the country.
- The surging percentage of viewing time going to OTT video content, with increasing revenue numbers, reflects the streaming growth, is changing the country's entertainment landscape. According to the Arizona-based Limelight Networks, globally, viewers spend an average of 6.8 hours per week consuming OTT video, with the United States topping the national averages at 8.55 hours.
- The COVID-19 has increased in viewership numbers and streaming hours, and the lack of new movies in theatres also boosts OTT platforms. SVOD has boomed during the lockdown. Hybrid services such as CBS All Access and Hulu that offer an ad-supported business model witnessed a bump in advertising revenues in the initial phase. However, according to the second Future of TV survey of over 2,100 US consumers by The Trade Desk, 27% of US cable TV subscribers planned to cut their subscriptions by the end of 2021. This is in line with the shift toward OTT services during COVID-19.
- However, some costs for OTT providers also rise along with increased consumption, with services impacted to varying degrees depending on the content delivery network model employed. As the OTT viewing amount goes up, so does the OTT provider's delivery cost since CDN services are usually charged for the amount of content delivered.
- Further, besides HBO, Netflix, and other OTT Platforms, some are untrusted ones. Thousands of such platforms are unsafe for you as user are vulnerable to lose their confidential information while paying for a subscription. Also, Cybercrime can happen on platforms that ask user for the personal information, including thebank details. Even though many reputable platforms work on tightening the security, many require tweaking their security. Hence this challenegs the market growth.
Key Market Trends
High Penetration Of Smart TV Witnesses a Significant Growth
- Streaming content in the region has been intensifying as content owners like Disney go direct to consumer and Telcos (AT&T) and OTT-only operators like Amazon, to name a few. Simultaneously, the emergence of 4K for streaming has been propelling the growth of OTT content to be made available across smart TV formats.
- In year 2020, more than 65-70% of US broadband households own at least one streaming entertainment product, and 50% own a smart TV. OTT players such as Netflix, Disney, NFL, and NBC have been investing in creating OTT TV apps to bring their videos directly to consumers. With 40% of US homes already using a smart device to stream content, the percentage of smart TV penetration has significantly gone up. Netflix and Amazon are the most commonly subscribed OTT platforms in the country.
- According to the Arizona-based Limelight Networks, in 2020, globally, the average number of SVoD (subscription video on demand) subscriptions per viewer was 1.5, with the United States in the lead at 2.2. Further, the rising demand for customized content led to significant adoption rates of OTT platforms.
- Current market success has been dependent upon partnerships, further exemplified by the numerous broadcaster joint ventures launched in 2020. Also, developments in traditional pay-TV services and virtual pay-TV services inclusive as a mix of broadcast and cable TV networks have been influencing the growth of OTT in the region.
- More recently, with the COVID-19 outbreak and nation-wide lockdowns, the hours spent on TV have been rising. This entails a positive growth outlook on a near-term basis. Whereas on the vendor front, Viacom is a significant vendor to be offering a direct-to-consumer (D2C) service on the back of Pluto TV, the USUS free streaming service which the company bought recently.
SVOD Segment to Hold a Significant Market Share
- Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) is similar to traditional TV packages, allowing users to consume as much content as they desire at a flat rate per month. Major services include Sky (plus its subsidiary Now TV), Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and Hulu.
- More than 90% of the SVOD subscribers come from the US market alone in the North America region. The emergence of SVoD platforms is also helping to drive consumers' cord-cutting trends. The number of SVOD subscriptions in the United States is on pace to grow more than 50% in the next five years. But when that aggregate number is broken down by household, it might not seem quite so significant.
- The US SVOD market is one of the significant markets globally; by 2025, the country is expected to witness a dozen platforms with more than 5 million paying subscribers,-revealing just how ahead the US market is compared with the rest of the world. Growth for established players such as Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu will be affected due to intense competition from younger rivals such as Disney+, Peacock, and the augmented CBS All Access.
- The recent launch of new SVoD Platforms Disney+ and Apple TV+ will heat competition in the US market, increasing pressure not only on traditional pay-TV operators but also on incumbent SVoD platforms such as Netflix.
- Further, in July 2021, Netflix and Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) announced a multi-year, exclusive licensing deal for animated feature films in the US. The new agreement builds upon Netflix's pre-existing Illumination output deal with Universal to include DreamWorks Animation. Such initiatives by the SVOD players to deliver new content for the growing subscriber base contribute to more investments in the market.
The US OTT market is witnessing increasing competitive rivalry as more companies are entering the market, leading to the gradual consolidation of the market. Also, TV broadcasters are entering the market either by launching their own app or platform of investing in some other OTT platform. Eventually, in the coming years, most of the TV cable operators are expected to invest in these business models to establish their presence in the industry. Further, OTT services and platform providers have been engaging actively via new launches, collaborations, multiple device integrations, etc. Given the recent sweep of media mergers and acquisitions, the US market vendors are competing with fellow streaming services by joining forces.
- May 2021 - HBO Max, expanding its offerings to consumers, announced that it would be launching an ad-supported (AVOD) version of the streaming service in the first week of June. The AVOD version of HBO Max would cost USD 9.99 per month, which is USD 5 less than the ad-free version.
- December 2020 - CBS All Access, ViacomCBS' subscription streaming service, has added new features for families and more Nickelodeon and Nick Jr content. One of the latest family-friendly features is creating up to six profiles per account and managing each profile using "Kids Mode," which allows parents to create profiles that limit the content to older or younger children based on content ratings.
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