STREAMING SATURDAY: Top 10 Streaming Services

When it comes to streaming services, Netflix is the No. 1 among the top 10 subscription-based streaming services in the U.S.

Netflix has the most paid subscribers of all over-the-top (OTT) video services, according to research group Parks Associates. In its OTT Video Market Tracker report, Parks Associates listed the top 10 over-the-top (OTT) video services based upon number of subscribers. To come to its conclusions, the group used a number of consumer surveys, network traffic data, and other information to compile its report. Parks Associates didn’t use information from transactional or ad-based services to come to its conclusion.

Here are the top 10 streaming services as of the third quarter of the year:

  1. Netflix
  2. Amazon Video (Amazon Prime)
  3. Hulu
  4. MLB.TV
  5. WWE Network
  6. Sling TV
  7. HBO Now
  8. Crunchyroll
  9. Showtime
  10. CBS All Access

(Original) Content is King
It’s interesting that the top three subscription-based streaming services are those with a wide variety of original content. Interesting but not surprising. I’ve long said that the original content from Netflix and other streaming services have made these subscription services more than just a glorified video rental store. Considering this, it’s somewhat odd to see HBO Now and Showtime in the seventh- and ninth-place slots, respectively. Both of these networks also are known for dynamic original programming, which should, theoretically at least, put them higher upon the list. DISH’s own Sling TV product also makes the list, despite being newer than any of the other services.

Specialized Streaming Services
The fourth- and fifth-highest services with the most subscribers are MLB.TV and WWE Network, respectively. This is particularly interesting, considering that both of these streaming services offer very specific programming – professional baseball and professional wrestling – to specific target audiences. The eighth streaming service to make Parks Associates’ also broadcasts specialized content. Crunchyroll is an online community and video streaming service that provides East Asian media that includes anime, manga, drama, music, and other programming. The success of these three streaming services could suggest that genre-specific streaming services could be on the rise.

Broadcast TV, Too?
There might have been a time when people thought of broadcast TV and streaming as two completely separate entities. These two forms of entertainment have been linked for quite some time, which is evidenced by CBS All Access being the tenth most popular streaming service based upon number of subscribers. CBS All Access is an over-the-top (OTT) subscription streaming video on demand service owned and operated by CBS. The service provides original content, content that’s newly aired on CBS’s broadcast properties, as well as from its vast library. Clearly CBS has some compelling content for its content to be in such demand that it can support a subscription-based OTT service. Could this be a trend?

The Popularity of Streaming

Remember that OTT video providers won more than 200 Emmy nominations and more than 40 Emmy awards this year. Because of this, it’s fair to assume that OTT’s trend of quality original programming will expand. Netflix has publicly stated its commitment to this, and we can expect the other services to keep pace with the market leader. As this continues, will we also see more OTT providers of specific content? And will there be an increase in the amount of network TV companies to launch over-the-top video services. By all accounts, streaming is on the rise!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.