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Streaming Video Services Like Netflix, Disney+ Forecast To Gain In 2021


#Streaming video services are ready to rub salt in the wounds of traditional pay TV in 2021 as they continue to attract cord-cutters.




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#Netflix (NFLX), #Walt disney‘s (DIS) #Disney+ and other streaming video services saw user growth soar in 2020 as the #Covid-19 pandemic spurred a shift to home entertainment.

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“#Covid added gas to the fire,” #Parks #Associates analyst #Steve #Nason told #Investor’s #Business #Daily. “#It allowed some of these (streaming video) services to explode.”

#Those services will face difficult year-over-year comparisons in 2021, as well as heightened competition, but they’re still expected to grow, analysts say. #Meanwhile, traditional pay-TV services — including cable, satellite and telco services — are likely to shed more subscribers in the year ahead.

#Covid-19 #Accelerated #Cord-Cutting #Trend

#In the first three quarters of 2020, the major pay-TV providers in the U.S. lost 3.75 million video subscribers, according to #Leichtman #Research #Group. #During 2019, they lost 4.92 million subscribers, #Leichtmann said.

#In addition to those cord-cutters, the traditional pay-TV business is dealing with cord-shavers and cord-nevers. #Cord-shavers are customers who reduce the number of pay-TV channels they get, while cord-nevers are consumers, usually digital natives, who have never signed up for traditional pay-TV service.

#Netflix is the top subscription video-on-demand service in the U.S., followed by #Amazon (AMZN) #Prime #Video, based on number of subscribers, according to #Parks #Associates. #Disney rounds out the top five with its #Hulu, #Disney+ and ESPN+ services.

#Others in the top 10 include AT&T (T)-owned HBO #Max, #Apple‘s (AAPL) #Apple TV+, #ViacomCBS (VIAC)-owned CBS #All #Access and #Showtime, and #Lionsgate‘s (LGFA) #Starz.

#New #Streaming #Video #Services #Coming #In 2021

#More streaming video services are on the way in 2021. #Cable TV programming giant #Discovery (DISCA) will launch its #Discovery+ streaming service on #Jan. 4. #ViacomCBS will debut its #Paramount+ service in early 2021. #Paramount+ will be a rebranding and expansion of CBS #All #Access.

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#Meanwhile, #Netflix, #Amazon, #Disney and HBO #Max are spending billions of dollars on fresh movies and TV series to retain and attract subscribers. #Disney has outlined an exhaustive list of new shows based on popular franchises like #Star #Wars, #Marvel and #Pixar. #And AT&T’s #WarnerMedia is sending its entire 2021 theatrical film slate to HBO #Max.

#With cinemas closed or running at lower capacity because of #Covid, most of the buzzworthy new movies are going to streaming services. #Over the #Christmas holiday weekend, HBO #Max premiered superhero movie “#Wonder #Woman 1984,” while #Disney+ debuted the #Pixar animated film “#Soul” and #Netflix launched the #George #Clooney sci-fi drama “#Midnight #Sky.”

#How #Many #Services #Are #People #Willing #To #Pay #For?

#In 2021, consumers will test the limit of how many subscription video-on-demand services they’ll be willing to pay for, #Colin #Dixon, an analyst with nScreenMedia, told IBD.

“#We will see a deepening of penetration (of subscription video-on-demand) in the U.S. as people add more services,” #Dixon said. “#Cord-cutting is going to continue to accelerate.”

#Also, #Parks #Associates says 61% of domestic households subscribe to two or more streaming video services, as of the third quarter. #Some 45% of homes subscribe to three or more services. #And 31% subscribe to four or more services.

“2021 will be the year we see a leveling off of the service stack — the number of services that people will stack on top of each other,” #Parks analyst #Nason said. #Meanwhile, growth rates for major services like #Netflix and #Hulu will start to slow, he said.

#Consumers #Adding #Niche #Streaming #Video #Services

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#While subscribing households typically have about three subscription video-on-demand services, they are supplementing those paid services with free, advertising-supported services, #Nason said. #Ad-supported video-on-demand services include the #Roku #Channel from #Year (ROKU), IMDb TV from #Amazon and #Peacock from #Comcast (CMCSA) subsidiary NBCUniversal.

#In addition to general interest streaming video services, there are scores of niche services. #For example, #CuriosityStream (CURI) offers science, nature and documentary content. #Shudder from AMC #Networks (AMCX) specializes in horror movies. #And BET+ from #ViacomCBS is devoted to #Black culture entertainment.

“#Consumers are now ready to start taking on niche services,” #Dixon said. “#People have got the general stuff. #Now they’re looking to add services that feed a particular interest.”

#Parks #Associates says U.S. consumers today can choose from nearly 300 subscription streaming video services.

#Shakeout #Seen #Over #Next #Two #Years

#Discovery #Chief #Executive #David #Zaslav said the winners and losers among streaming video services will be determined over the next 24 months.

“#Within the next two years, it’s going to be put up or shut up for all of us,” #Zaslav told CNBC earlier this month.

#Further, he expects the fiercest competition among large streaming video services primarily focused on scripted series for U.S. audiences.

“#Will there be three? #Will there be four? There’s not going to be seven,” #Zaslav said. “There has to be some consolidation.”

#Some consolidation is already occurring.

#Sony, #ViacomCBS #Lead #Consolidation #Wave

#On #Dec. 10, #Sony‘s (SNE) #Funimation announced a deal to buy rival anime streaming video service #Crunchyroll from AT&T for $1.175 billion.

#Also, #ViacomCBS plans to close several niche streaming services and move that content over to #Paramount+. #Analysts predict that MTV #Hits, #NickHits, #Comedy #Central #Now and #Noggin will be shut down in the move.

#Apple TV+ might have to bulk up its content library to stay relevant as well.

#Wedbush #Securities analyst #Daniel #Ives said 2021 could be the year that #Apple acquires a #Hollywood studio to buck up its #Apple TV+ content. #News reports say #Apple recently passed on a deal to buy MGM. #But it might make a play for #Sony #Pictures, #Lionsgate or A24, #Ives said in a recent note to clients.

#Follow #Patrick #Seitz on #Twitter at @IBD_PSeitz for more stories on consumer technology, software and semiconductor stocks.

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