The EntStrategyGuy US Subscriber Estimates for Q1 of 2024

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(Welcome to the Entertainment Strategy Guy, a newsletter on the entertainment industry and business strategy. I write a weekly Streaming Ratings Report and a bi-weekly strategy column, along with occasional deep dives into other topics, like today’s article. Please subscribe.)

It’s time once again for my not quite annual, but not quite semi-annual estimate of the number of US subscribers for the major streamers in America.

Remember, US subscribers. 

Why only one market? It’s the one country where every streamer has a presence. The problem with the global number is that different streamers don’t operate in every country and have different business models, so comparing them just isn’t apples-to-apples. 

Now, some streamers had big head starts in the US and some don’t charge a lot (or anything depending how you count), but it’s still more like-to-like. I also like making this specific estimate because it grounds how well I think each streamer is performing in America right now. Combined with Nielsen’s The Gauge, it’s a good snapshot for each streamer.

Plus, it’s important. Remember: the WGA, SAG-AFTRA and DGA will use US subscriber totals, as of the end of June each year, to calculate whether or not a show is a hit and thus whether or not it gets increased streaming residuals. So I’ll have to run this analysis each year to calculate hit-rate by streamer. (I would love it if the Guilds could make that info public, but I doubt they will.) Again, as some streamers threaten to start hiding their subscriber numbers, these estimates will become even more valuable.

Yes, this means I definitely need to update this analysis next quarter (by August or September)!

The big shift since I last published an update (which was for Q2 of 2023) is that FASTs (free, ad-supported streaming TV) have really made in-roads in TV usage. They don’t have “subscribers”, though, so adding them to this list doesn’t make sense. I also won’t add “monthly active users”, since that metric can be gamed in some ways, though directionally it’s accurate. (My preferred number would be MAUs greater than one hour, to account for accidental clicks.)

Anyways, onto the rankings. I’ll put the current ranking right up top, but also include the tables and charts for Q4 and Q3 of 2023 in an appendix. As a reminder…

  • I estimate paid subscribers for every streamer (with over 5 million subscribers), even the ones that disclose nothing, like Amazon and Apple.
  • My goal is to estimate the number of “paid” subscribers per streamer. If a streamer offers their service in a bundle—Amazon Prime, for example—I imagine a world where Prime Video stood on its own. How many folks would pay for that service?
  • These are not the current subscriber totals for the streamers, but how many subscribers each streamer had as of the end June (or “Q2 of 2023”). My primary source is official subscriber estimates from the streamers’ quarterly reports, which I then use to make my own, bespoke estimates.
  • This is a “US”-only look. Someday that will change, as more streamers catch up (and we get better visibility into Apple and Amazon globally), but for now it’s just America.

The Overall Charts

Without further ado, here’s the data you came for:

The rest of this article is for paid subscribers of the Entertainment Strategy Guy, so if you’d like to read or see…

…my current estimates for each major streamer’s U.S. paid subscribers,
…a timeline of my estimates for every streamer’s subscriber counts going back to 2019…
…and my confidence interval per estimate…
…links to every past estimate I’ve made…
…analysis on every streamer with bespoke charts…
…14 charts and 5 more pages…
…and a lot more…

please subscribe. We can only keep doing this great work with your support. No, seriously, we can only do this with your support. This type of analysis does not happen quickly, and we couldn’t do it without our paid subscribers.

The Entertainment Strategy Guy

The Entertainment Strategy Guy

Former strategy and business development guy at a major streaming company. But I like writing more than sending email, so I launched this website to share what I know.


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