Apple TV+ share of streaming market just keeps growing

Apple TV+ share of streaming market just keeps growing

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Apple TV+ has a growing chunk of the U.S. streaming market. Netflix does not.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV+ garners 5% of the U.S. streaming video market, according to a company that follows the industry. While that makes Apple TV+ a small player, the service started 2021 with just a 3% share, so the year saw significant growth.

Its two largest rivals, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, saw drops in their shares of the streaming market in 2021.

Apple TV+ is the little streaming service that could

Apple’s streaming service did especially well in the last quarter of 2021, according to a new report from JustWatch. “Apple TV+ had a strong Q4, adding +1% from Q3 and finished the year with an all-time high of 5%,” said the analysts.

That capped a solid 2021. “Apple TV+ ended the year on its highest market share to date, and added 2% throughout the year,” said JustWatch.

Apple doesn’t report subscriber numbers, so it’s up to analysts to estimate how well Cupertino is competing. Even when the iPhone-maker issues its quarterly financial report — which it will next do on January 27 — revenue from Apple TV+ will be merged with money flowing in from other services, like the App Store.

2021 was bad year for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video

2021 was bad year for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
The largest streaming services are dropping while the smallest are growing.
Chart: JustWatch

In contrast to Apple TV+, the two largest streaming services experienced noticeable declines in their shares of the streaming market in 2021. Netflix started the year with over 30% of the U.S. streaming market, but by December it slipped to less than 25%. Amazon Prime Video began 2021 at over 20% but dropped by December.

“Netflix and Prime Video continually lost market share as other platforms such as HBO Max, Paramount+, and Discovery+ gained momentum,” said JustWatch.

The biggest winner was HBO Max. Its share of the market grew by 5 percentage points in 2021.

JustWatch didn’t reveal estimates for exact subscriber numbers for any of the streaming services, just the relative popularity of each. So don’t take these figures to automatically mean that Netflix and Amazon lost subscribers. If Apple and others are growing the streaming market, Netflix’s subscriber base doesn’t have to shrink for its share of the market to decline.

JustWatch runs a video recommendation service. Users input their preferences, and the streaming services they subscribe to, and receive suggested shows they might like.