OTT Services

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Top OTT Streaming Services - 1

According to Parks Associates, the 2018 top ten paid over the top (OTT) streaming services in America were (ranked from one to ten) Netflix, Amazon's Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Now, Starz, MLB.TV, Showtime, CBS All Access, Sling TV and DirectTV Now. Parks Associates has been referenced by a number of credible publications (that is, The Motley Fool, Adweek, Variety and Multichannel News among others) which highlights the credibility of this company in OTT matters. Below is a deep dive of these OTT streaming companies.

1. Netflix

Netflix was founded in 1997 in Los Gatos, California. This company has grown to become the leading international online entertainment service. The company currently has 139 million global paid subscribers with in 190 countries. The service is available in three monthly pricing options (that is, basic — $7.99 monthly, standard — $9.99 monthly and premium — $11.99 monthly). Netflix tops the Parks Associates' list of top OTT streaming services with its 58.5 million United States paid subscribers.

2. Amazon's Prime Video

Amazon's Prime Video is a video streaming service that was launched in 2011. This service affords Prime members access to thousands of videos and TV series at no additional cost. Additionally, Prime Video provides Prime members with an option to buy or rent videos that are not part of the Prime Video's free offering. Although Amazon's Prime members were more than 100 million, active Prime Video users were 26 million in 2018 — making Prime Video the second top OTT streaming service provider in the Parks Associate's ranking.

3. Hulu

Hulu is a leading streaming service that was launched in 2008 in Santa Monica, California. Hulu offers premium on-demand and live videos and TV. These services are offered at between $5.99 to $44.99 monthly subscriptions. Parks Associates ranks Hulu in position three with its 25 million paid American subscribers.

4. HBO Now

Home Box Office (HBO) Now is a streaming service that was launched in 2015. This service allows users to enjoy thousands of videos from HBO including the popular Game of Thrones series. Monthly subscriptions start from $14.99. Parks Associates ranks HBO Now in position four in its 2018 top OTT streaming services providers list. This service had an estimated 8 million paid subscribers in 2018.

5. Starz

Starz is a Liongate subsidiary that was founded in 1994 in Santa Monica, California. Starz offers its global audience over 10,000 premium feature films and television episodes. Its streaming services are available at $8.99 monthly. The company was in the fifth position in Parks Associates' 2018 OTT streaming providers list. It had an estimated 3 million paid subscribers in 2018.

6. MLB.TV

Major League Baseball (MLB.TV) was launched in 2002. The service prides itself as the most successful, as well as, the longest-running live streaming sports service in America. MLB.TV is available in two pricing options (that is, single team at $91.99 yearly and all teams at $118.99 yearly or $24.99 monthly subscriptions). Parks Associates ranks MLB.TV at position six in its 2018 OTT streaming providers list. MLB.TV was estimated to have around 3 million subscribers in 2018.

7. Showtime

Showtime is a subsidiary of CBS Corporation. The OTT service was inaugurated in 2015. The service offers users award-winning series, movies, documentaries and sports (for example, Shameless and Homeland). Showtime was ranked at position seven in Parks Associates 2018 OTT streaming providers list. The OTT service had an estimated 2.5 million paid subscribers in 2018.

8. CBS All Access

CBS All Access is an on-demand OTT streaming service that was launched in 2014. Subscribers of this service have access to over 10,000 episodes, live TV streaming and original productions including Star Trek, Twilight Zone and One Dollar among others. Monthly subscriptions are between $5.99 and $9.99 with an option to pay yearly. CBS All Access was ranked at position eight of Parks Associates 2018 OTT streaming providers list. This service had an estimated 2.5 million paid subscribers in 2018.

9. Sling TV

Sling TV was officially launched in 2015 in Englewood, Colorado. The service was formed to target Americans cord-cutters. The service enables its users to enjoy their favorite movies, sports, and documentaries among others at a price of $25 per month. Sling TV was ranked at position nine in Parks Associates 2018 OTT streaming providers list. The service had an estimated 2.4 million paid subscribers in 2018.

10. DirecTV Now

DirecTV Now is a subsidiary of AT&T and was founded in 2016. The service allows its users to enjoy on-demand live TV streaming with two monthly subscriptions (that is, $50 per month for over 40 channels and $70 per month for over 50 channels). DirecTV Now was ranked at the tenth position in Parks Associates 2018 OTT streaming providers list. The service had an estimated 1.6 million paid subscribers in 2018.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Top OTT Streaming Services - 2

Ten additional over the top (OTT) streaming services with larger numbers of subscribers are CrunchyRoll, ESPN Live, Hulu Live, WWE Network, YouTube TV, Acorn TV, PS Vue, BritBox, Fubo TV, and Philo. Below we explain how we created our list and provide some brief details for each, including the number of subscribers.

Methodology

We began our research by looking for any existing lists that ranked video streaming services by the number of paid subscribers on sites such as Mashable, AdWeek, Statista, Fortune, Variety, and Consumer Reports. Although we found many "best" lists ranking the services, as well as a ranking of the top 10 by paid subscribers from the end of 2018, there was nothing that ranked the services beyond the top 10 by number of paid subscribers. Since a previous report had already provided the top 10, we had to look beyond that.

Our next strategy was to look for the most popular entertainment apps being downloaded so we could find some additional video streaming services to research. For this search we utilized statistics from SensorTower. This led us to services such as PlutoTV, Tubi TV, YouTube TV, CrunchyRoll, Fubo, and DC Universe. We proceeded to research each streaming platform to look for details on the number of paid subscribers. By utilizing company websites, entertainment sites such as Variety, and business sites such as Inc., we were able to find estimated paid subscription numbers for some but not all the services.

Our last strategy was to focus on more specialized streaming services such as those for sports or video games. We again utilized SensorTower, as well as a file listing the current OTT streaming providers, for this strategy and found platforms such as ESPN, Fox Sports Go, Twitch, NBC Sports and Fox Sports. By utilizing company websites, entertainment sites such as Variety, and business sites such as Inc., we were again able to find estimated paid subscription numbers for some but not all of these services.

Although we do provide a list of 10 streaming services ranked on the number of paid subscriptions, we cannot be certain that these are the next 10 services with the most paid subscribers, as we could not find numbers for all services. However, based on the smallest number of subscribers found in the previous report (1.6 million) we do believe these services are likely to among those with the most paid subscribers, and they are being used as a proxy for the next 10 services.

CrunchyRoll

CrunchyRoll is a streaming service that focuses on anime and manga. The company has over 45 million users and 2 million paid subscribers. These statistics are not broken out by region so we were unable to determine what portion of these users were in the United States.

ESPN+

ESPN+ is premium subscription service that allows sports fans to stream tennis, hockey, baseball, golf, and more. In February 2019, 10 months after the initial launch, the service had over 2 million paid subscribers.

Hulu Live

Hulu Live is a combination of live and on-demand channels and allows streaming of news, sports and entertainment options. This service offers a large library of shows and movies in addition to the live streaming option. Bloomberg reported in March 2019 that the Hulu Live service had surpassed 2 million subscribers.

WWE Network

WWE Network has over 11,500 hours of on-demand programming. Additionally, they offer pay-per-view and international specials. The company announced in February 2019 that they had almost 1.6 million subscribers.

YouTube TV

For $40 a month, YouTube TV offers an alternative to cable and lets subscribers access channels such as ABC, CBS, TNT, CNN, and ESPN. Bloomberg announced in March 2019 that the service had surpassed 1 million subscribers.

Acorn TV and Urban Movie Channel

Acorn TV is a streaming service that focuses on British and other international shows. According to their homepage, the Urban Movie Channel (UMC) offers "the best in Black film & television with new and exclusive content added weekly!" The services are owned by RLJ Entertainment and the company announced in 2018 that the total North American subscribers for both services has exceeded 750,000. Unfortunately, there was no breakdown for the U.S. only.

Play Station (PS) Vue

PS Vue is a live TV streaming service that offers news, local channels and other channels people love. The company has been trying to spread the word that you do not need a Play Station in order to subscribe to PS Vue. In 2018, it was reported the service had 500,000 subscribers.

BritBox

BritBox is a streaming service launched in March 2017 that focuses on British TV. In January 2019, the company announced they had more than 500,000 subscribers.

Fubo TV

In 2015, Fubo started as a soccer streaming service. Now the service also streams other sports, including from the NFL and NBA, but also has networks such as ABC, CBS, and FX. The company announced in late 2018 that they had reached 250,000 subscribers.

Philo

Philo is an inexpensive streaming service that allows access to many of the channels offered by the more expensive services for either $16 or $20 per month. Their service is on demand, rather than live, and is available on many devices. Although we were not able to find an estimated number of subscribers for Philo, we were able to calculate an estimate based on other available data:


Of the five streaming services mentioned in the title of the article, we had subscriber estimates for four of them. After subtracting those numbers from the 8 million total subscribers, we had 0.5 million remaining. Therefore, we estimated that Philo and "others" had a total of 500,000 paid subscribers. Since Philo was the only other service mentioned by name, we assumed that it would be on the higher end of subscriptions and included it as our tenth service. Our estimate for paid subscribers is <500,000.

One Final Note

While creating our list, we found some updated data on the number of subscribers for CBS All-Access. This service was included in the original report with an estimated number of 2.5 million subscribers. The more recent number for that platform is 8 million.

Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Sony has also been trying to address confusion over their name that had driven many subscribers away. In recent months, Sony has launched new TV ads promoting the idea that you don’t need a PlayStation to use PlayStation Vue. That seems to be having a limited impact on the growth of PlayStation Vue."
Quotes
  • "The service, launched in March 2017 by BBC Studios and ITV, says its core audience is women age 45 and over who live in the south and midwest and are Anglophiles."
  • "Since launching in the U.S, BritBox has exclusively premiered current seasons of Vera, starring actress Brenda Blethyn, Maigret, starring Rowan Atkinson, Hold the Sunset, starring John Cleese, and Bliss starring Heather Graham."
Quotes
  • "For the entire third quarter, fuboTV says it saw a net addition of 30,000 subscribers. The company is also sharing details about its revenue, with an annualized revenue rate run rate of $102 million in September 2018, compared to $28 million September 2017. Plus, time spent per subscriber has grown 364 percent, to 51 hours."
Quotes
  • "ESPN+ was launched back in April for $4.99 per month or $49.99 for an annual membership. The service, which is powered by Disney’s BAMTech division, offers “hundreds of MLB, NHL and MLS games, Grand Slam tennis, Top Rank boxing, PGA Tour golf, college sports, international rugby, cricket, the full library of ESPN Films including 30 for 30, and more.”"
Quotes
  • "The streaming media giant has never officially reported its subscriber numbers. The new figure from Bloomberg is the first update on the service's subscribers since last July, when The Information reported YouTube TV had nearly 800,000 paying users."
Quotes
  • "The company said it’s also seen increased engagement on digital and social platforms. Digital video views were up 57% to 31.4 billion and hours consumed up 77% to 1.2 billion across digital and social media platforms. WWE has produced more than 160 hours of content, including the second season of “Mixed Match Challenge” on Facebook Watch."
Quotes
  • "Many pay-TV providers had hoped a streaming service would offset losses from cord cutting. For now, it has helped, but it has yet to be a 1 for 1 replacement for cable TV. Most cord cutters are not interested in a live TV streaming service."
Quotes
  • "Meanwhile, several TV and music services are teaming up to offer a more comprehensive streaming experience. Hulu and Spotify, for instance, have teamed up to offer a $12.99 per month bundled subscription for access to Hulu's Limited Commercials plan and Spotify Premium. Industry rivals Philo TV and Pandora are offering a similar deal: You can get three free months of Pandora Premium thrown into the mix with either of Philo TV's two main subscription plans."
Quotes
  • "The firm notes the rise of a second tier of OTT video services from services with recognized brands, including several with high profile original content. Online pay-TV services Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW round out the top ten, ahead of similar services Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue. Online pay TV has been one of the fastest growing segments in the OTT video space, with aggressive marketing by all."
Quotes
  • "Our plan options are flexible, giving you the freedom to customize a subscription that fits your needs. Start by picking your plan — Hulu + Live TV or Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV — then choose between a number of optional add-ons..."