Every streaming service needs two main things to survive: videos to stream, and subscribers to watch them. If a service can’t get any subscribers, it’ll find itself leaving the market pretty soon. But just how many subscribers does each major streaming service have? Let’s explore the subscriber counts for all major streaming services on the market.
As of early 2019, Netflix had nearly 150 million subscribers.
Netflix is one of the largest and most well-known streaming services on the market, and its subscriber numbers back that up.
Netflix launched its online DVD rental service in 2004. In 2007, the company launched its online video streaming service. From 2007 onward, Netflix experienced rapid growth, adding tens of millions of subscribers each year, especially after the company started to expand worldwide.
Netflix subscriber milestones
Netflix’s biggest subscriber milestones include the following:
- 2009: Netflix surpasses 10 million subscribers
- 2011: Netflix surpasses 25 million subscribers
- 2013: Netflix surpasses 50 million subscribers
- 2015: Netflix surpasses 75 million subscribers
- 2017: Netflix surpasses 100 million subscribers
- 2018: Netflix surpasses 125 million subscribers
- 2019: Netflix surpasses 150 million subscribers
(Source: Netflix Investor Reports, 2009-2018)
The streaming giant may reach 200 million subscribers by 2020, fueled mostly by international sign-ups.
As of 2019, Amazon Prime had an estimated 100 million US subscribers.
Amazon started its online video service in 2006 under the name “Amazon Unbox”. The service was later renamed to “Amazon Instant Video on Demand” and then later, just “Prime Video”.
From its inception, Prime Video was always included with an Amazon Prime subscription. This gives Amazon a bit of an edge on subscriber numbers (and some might say a misleading one), as its Prime Video subscriber counts were high upon inception.
Its subscriber growth numbers are also perhaps inflated and misleading, but it’s also impossible to separate out those using Prime Video as a standalone service, and those using it as part of Amazon Prime, as some Prime users may have signed up to get Prime Video as well as discounted purchases and shipping through Amazon.
Unfortunately, Amazon does not publish its subscriber numbers. The best you’ll find each year are either industry observer estimates or no data at all.
Hulu is a rare case where an on-demand streaming operation and live TV streaming service operate in tandem. Originally launched in 2007 as an on-demand service, Hulu added an optional Live TV service in 2017.
Hulu is privately held and has been notoriously stingy on the details when it comes to its subscriber numbers. Over the years, it’s doled out subscriber information in bits and pieces, and at times it has even delivered different numbers to different media outlets.
Hulu subscriber milestones
Based on available information, here are a few of Hulu’s subscriber milestones:
- 2013: Hulu surpasses 5 million subscribers (Source: Engadget)
- 2015: Hulu surpasses 9 million subscribers (Source: TheVerge)
- 2016: Hulu surpasses 12 million subscribers (Source: TheVerge)
- 2018: Hulu surpasses 25 million subscribers (Source: Hulu)
- 2019: Hulu surpasses 28 million subscribers (Source: CNBC)
The service may surpass 30 million subscribers by 2020.
As of 2018, Crunchyroll had 2 million paying subscribers, and 45 million registered users.
This anime streaming service began in 2006 and has slowly expanded its operations to serve both US and international anime fans. The company is now a subsidiary of Otter Media, which is itself owned by WarnerMedia.
Crunchyroll rarely publishes its subscriber numbers. In 2017, however, the service announced it had reached 1 million paid subscribers and 20 million registered users. Crunchyroll can be used for free with ads and a time delay on newly-released episodes, or with a paid monthly subscription that has no restrictions or ads.
Crunchyroll subscriber milestones
Based on available information, here are a few Crunchyroll subscriber milestones:
- 2017: Crunchyroll surpasses 1 million paid subscribers and 20 million registered users (Source: Crunchyroll)
- 2018: Crunchyroll surpasses 2 million paid subscribers and 45 million registered users (Source: Digiday)
Crunchyroll may hit 3 million paid subscribers by the end of 2020.
As of early 2019, HBO had 8 million or more subscribers.
Perhaps the most popular non-sports cable TV channel around, HBO Now is HBO’s standalone streaming service. The cable TV company launched the standalone service in 2015. It gives users access to both live streams of HBO’s content, and access to HBO’s full on-demand library stretching back throughout the decades.
HBO Now’s subscriber growth, however, has largely been due to its most popular TV show to date: Game of Thrones. Now that Game of Thrones has run its course, some customers may cancel their HBO subscriptions. However, HBO is likely to bring other must-watch shows to viewers in the coming years, including spin-offs of Game of Thrones, and its newest hit mini-series, Chernobyl.
HBO Now subscriber milestones
Based on available information, here are a few HBO Now subscriber milestones:
- 2015: HBO Now surpasses 800,000 million subscribers (Source: Variety)
- 2017: HBO Now surpasses 2 million subscribers (Source: TechCrunch)
- 2018: HBO Now surpasses 5 million subscribers (Source: Bloomberg)
- 2019: HBO Now surpasses 8 million subscribers (Source: Bloomberg)
Even without Game of Thrones to boost sign-ups, HBO Now may pass 10 million subscribers by 2020.
As of early 2019, Showtime likely had around 3 to 4 million subscribers.
CBS’s Showtime streaming service offers online access to the Showtime cable TV channel. A direct competitor to HBO and HBO Now, Showtime has never been as popular but is still gaining steam, thanks to a slate of new original shows.
Showtime’s standalone streaming service launched the same time as CBS All Access, and CBS has been combining the two services’ subscription counts together in most reporting, making it a bit difficult at times to determine which service has the higher count.
Showtime subscriber milestones
Based on available information, here are a few Showtime subscriber milestones:
- 2017: Showtime surpasses 1.5 million subscribers (Source: Variety)
- 2019: Showtime surpasses 3 million subscribers (Source: Forbes)
Although CBS is not open about specific subscriber counts for Showtime, the service will likely reach 4 to 5 million subscribers by 2020.
As of early 2019, CBS All Access had around 3 to 4 million subscribers.
CBS All Access is the standalone streaming service offered by CBS. Launched in 2014, the service provides live TV streams for local CBS broadcast networks, as well as thousands of on-demand TV show episodes and movies owned by CBS.
The company made a rather ambitious goal to reach 16 million combined subscribers to Showtime and CBS All Access by 2022. After getting well ahead of schedule, it then raised the goal from 16 million to 25 million. Assuming its current growth rate continues, there’s little reason to doubt CBS All Access will manage to achieve its 25 million subscriber goal in the next few years.
CBS All Access subscriber milestones
Based on available information, here are a few CBS All Access subscriber milestones:
- 2016: CBS All Access surpasses 1 million subscribers (Source: TheVerge)
- 2018: CBS All Access surpasses 2.5 million subscribers (Source: Broadcasting Cable)
- 2019: CBS All Access surpasses 3 million subscribers (Source: CNBC)
CBS All Access may reach close to 5 million subscribers by 2020.
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As of the end of 2018, Sling TV had over 2.4 million subscribers.
Sling TV was one of the first internet TV streaming services to hit the market back in 2015. The service quickly drew up 600,000 subscribers in its first year alone, which also makes it one of the fastest-growing internet TV services.
Massive competition on the market over the years significantly slowed down Sling TV’s early growth. Nevertheless, the DISH Network-owned streaming service has maintained a steady number of subscribers compared to AT&T’s DirecTV Now service, and a few other competitors.
Sling TV subscriber milestones
Based on available information, here are a few of Sling TV’s subscriber milestones:
- 2016: Sling TV surpasses 600,000 subscribers (Source: Wall Street Journal)
- 2017: Sling TV surpasses 2 million subscribers (Source: TechCrunch)
- 2018: Sling TV surpasses 2.4 million subscribers (Source: TechCrunch)
The service may reach 3 million subscribers or more by 2020, but signups have slowed significantly into 2019.
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As of 2019, PlayStation Vue had an estimated 800,000 subscribers.
PlayStation Vue launched on the market around the same time as Sling TV. However, the service struggled out of the gate for two key reasons.
First, PlayStation Vue was twice as expensive as Sling TV on launch (although it did offer more channels). Secondly, PlayStation Vue launched with “PlayStation” in the name, leaving many potential subscribers under the false impression that a PlayStation console is required (it’s not).
Nevertheless, PlayStation Vue consistently has the most satisfied customers. Those who use the service love it, but subscriber growth has been painfully slow due to the service’s high cost and confusing name.
That said, with streaming service prices on the rise, Sony’s PlayStation Vue service may experience renewed interest, as its price is now far more competitive than when it launched.
PlayStation Vue subscriber milestones
Based on available information, here are a few PlayStation Vue subscriber milestones:
- 2016: Playstation Vue surpasses 100,000 subscribers (Source: Time)
- 2017: PlayStation Vue surpasses 650,000 subscribers (Source: Cord Cutters News)
- 2019: PlayStation Vue surpasses 800,000 subscribers (Source: eMarketer)
The service may reach 1 million or more subscribers by 2020, although some reports suggest the service is losing subscribers instead of gaining.
As of 2018, Philo had at least 50,000 subscribers.
One of the newest internet TV streaming services on the market, Philo comes in at a low cost of just $20 per month for over 55 channels. Philo’s unique service provides only entertainment TV channels.
It’s hard to pin down exactly how many subscribers Philo currently has. The company has never announced its subscriber numbers. Estimates put Philo at 50,000 subscribers by beginning of 2018, but it’s possible Philo has 100,000 subscribers or more.
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As of 2018, fuboTV had over 250,000 subscribers.
Much like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, fuboTV came onto the market in 2015. The service focused purely on sports at the time, and mostly international soccer leagues like the Premier League and La Liga. Between 2015 and 2017, however, the service changed its format and pricing scheme to match consumer needs.
In 2017, fuboTV began to offer a more extensive package of channels beyond just sports. The service continued to add channels between 2017 and 2018. By the end of 2018, fuboTV carried over 100 channels with a heavy emphasis on sports.
Unfortunately, fuboTV has struggled to gain subscribers. Its most recent price increases make it a tough sell for many subscribers, as well.
FuboTV subscriber milestones
Based on available information, here are a few fuboTV subscriber milestones:
- 2017: fuboTV surpasses 100,000 subscribers (Source: fuboTV)
- 2018: fuboTV surpasses 250,000 subscribers (Source: TechCrunch)
FuboTV may reach 350,000 subscribers by 2020.
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As of early 2019, YouTube TV had over 1 million subscribers.
Not to be confused with regular YouTube, YouTube TV is a standalone internet TV streaming service that launched in early 2017. YouTube TV had a very slow rollout. It did not reach nationwide coverage until early 2019.
Even still, the service’s sign-up numbers are impressive, which may be a testament to the effectiveness of hedging a well-known brand name for a new service, and the features YouTube TV brings to the table.
YouTube TV subscriber milestones
Based on available information, here are a few YouTube TV subscriber milestones:
- 2017: YouTube TV surpasses 250,000 subscribers (Source: Investors)
- 2018: YouTube TV surpasses 800,000 subscribers (Source: Consumer Affairs)
- 2019: YouTube TV surpasses 1 million subscribers (Source: Business Insider)
YouTube TV may reach 1.5 million subscribers by 2020.
As of early 2019, DirecTV Now had 1.5 million subscribers.
The DirecTV Now internet TV streaming service launched in 2016 to much fanfare. The service cost just $30 per month at the time for a large bundle of channels and was part of the well-known DirecTV brand.
In its first two years, DirecTV Now experienced dramatic growth. The service reached around 2 million subscribers in Q4 2018. However, several massive price hikes and a delayed effort in providing adequate features led to a mass exodus from the service.
As of 2019, DirecTV Now has lost around 500,000 subscribers after reaching around 2 million subscribers at its height. The AT&T-owned service is perhaps one of the only services of its kind on the market that’s actively losing customers.
DirecTV Now subscriber milestones
Based on available information, here are a few DirecTV Now subscriber milestones:
- 2017: DirecTV Now surpasses 1 million subscribers (Source: TheVerge)
- 2018: DirecTV Now surpasses 2 million subscribers (Source: Multichannel News)
This service is likely to be discontinued between 2020 and 2021 as AT&T merges it with an upcoming WarnerMedia streaming service.
As of 2019, DAZN had over 4 million subscribers.
Instead of offering specific channels, DAZN offers live streams of a few major combat sports leagues like Matchroom Boxing, Golden Boy Boxing, Bellator MMA, and the World Boxing Super Series, as well as a new MLB Whiparound show called “Change-Up.” It’s intended to be an alternative to Pay-Per-View for combat sports fans, and offers quite a bit of content at a much lower price than paying for a PPV event.
The company is privately held and has not released any subscriber information as of publication time.
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