London-based media research firm Kantar published an update on Q2 subscriber counts for all the major U.S.-based streaming services. Somewhat predictably, the numbers show a large decline in the growth of new subscribers across the board, coming in at 3.9% growth during Q2 2021, the smallest quarterly rise in new subscribers Kantar had ever recorded. This compares with 12.9% growth during the same quarter last year when pandemic restrictions were taking hold and consumers were forced to stay at home.
Amazon Prime Video showed the highest growth in the number of new subscribers, followed by Discovery+. Netflix maintained its top spot in overall market share, having two-thirds of streaming households as subscribers, down from 74% at this time in 2020. Three-quarters of U.S. households access at least one streaming service.
A range of advertising-supported services is coming online which offer low to no-cost subscription rates, which may impact the decisions consumers make on which services to maintain. While growth may be slowing, services may find additional revenue by clamping down on account sharing. The Kantar report measured that Netflix in particular was impacted by this phenomenon, with 27% of its subscribers reporting “someone else” pays for the account they use to log into the service.