Netflix Sub Count Close To DirecTV, Comcast


Look out, DirecTV and Comcast.

Netflix is hot on your heels.

According to data from UK-based Juniper Research, Netflix’s U.S. subscriber count is approaching the 47 million mark.

That puts it in line with DirecTV (47 million) and Comcast (47.7 million), respectively.

Juniper’s report, Digital TV & Video: Network and OTT Strategies 2016-2021, also finds that  SVoD providers can expect to see “substantial returns” on their expansion and growth strategies, as more countries and markets move to this method of video consumption, in a continual move away from linear, scheduled TV.

While SVoD continues to draw customers away from traditional providers, networks are now seeking to diversify and adapt through “cord shaving,” with services such as YouTube and Hulu seeking to offer some linear cable streaming as part of subscription packages in 2017.

The concept is to offer “skinny bundles” of content which are smaller packages, offered at a cheaper price via Internet delivered services.

Netflix saw rapid expansion in January 2016, launching in 130 new markets simultaneously, bringing its total coverage to 190 countries. But, international subscriber growth lacks pace. As quarterly results suggested underwhelming growth prospects for subscriber numbers.

Netflix’s expansion has resulted in price increases, but the beneficiaries may ultimately be the provider’s rivals if the competitor price differential becomes too great.

Lauren Foye, who authored the report for Jupiter, notes that while Netflix has grown across the globe, “the test will be whether it can meet its original content production costs, as well as provide quality content to consumers. It is believed that rival Hulu is now close to offering the same amount of content as Netflix, and others are pushing new models, such as Amazon’s monthly subscriptions to Prime video, and YouTube Red subscriptions for exclusive content.”

The report also finds that total TV and video data usage will grow more than five-fold from 2016 to 2021, as uptake of 4K increases download sizes.