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Digital Disruptors: The Global Competitive Landscape of Streaming Services

July 2021

As the pandemic accelerated digital streaming service consumption, the launch and expansion of new platforms continued, leading to intensified competition in which novelty has become a key differentiator. This briefing includes profiles of the following companies: Apple Music, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, BluTV, DAZN, Disney+, Disney+Hotstar, Icflix, Molotov, Netflix, QQ Music, Rakuten TV, Spotify, Stan, StarzPlay and others.

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Key findings

The pandemic accelerates customer spending on streaming services

The multiple waves of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sent millions of consumers home globally at once in 2020. Many of them turned to streaming services for entertainment, educational purposes and fitness needs, fuelling new subscriptions and driving a double-digit increase in the industry’s sales. Latin America became the largest region for streaming services in value terms, as leading players such as HBO Max and Disney+ entered the market.

Novelty in content is key in attracting customers

Content has become a key differentiator of streaming service platforms. With the continuous increase in the supply of video streaming services, customers no longer have loyalty in relation to production companies and content providers. Producing local content, such as Netflix’s 3% from Brazil, or redirecting blockbuster film franchises into television show formats, such as The Mandalorian at Disney+, are amongst the most popular strategies to engage customers for longer.

Enhanced competition increases the need for further diversification

Although customers have been increasingly investing in subscriptions to multiple streaming service platforms, they are likely to only subscribe to a limited number. Consequently, unique and original content creation will continue to gain emphasis in the next five years, as well as other ways of differentiation. This might include focusing on live streaming or integrating conventional media as part of the service.

Despite global success, streaming services still face challenges

Infrastructure supporting internet access, which varies country by country, is the main barrier holding back the industry. Poor internet connection limits the possibilities for streaming services because new technologies, like virtual or augmented reality, require greater bandwidth. Piracy and illegal downloading still remain threats for the industry in many markets across the globe.


Scope of Digital Consumer
Key findings

State of Play

From disruptor to a major global digital industry
Need for home entertainment fuels growth for streaming services
Novelty becomes a key factor attracting consumers
Streaming services disrupt conventional media in every region
Despite diverse viewing devices, PCs remain dominant for sales
Production of local content helps providers connect with consumers
Streaming success causes overcrowding in the market

Profiles on Global Disruptors

Apple Music
Amazon Prime Video
Rakuten TV
T witch
Apple TV+

Profiles on Disruptors in The Americas

Blim TV

Profiles on Disruptors in Asia

Kayo Sports
QQ Music
Disney+ Hotstar
StarHub TV

Profiles on Disruptors in EMEA

Flix Ole
Now TV
CDA Premium

Prospects for Digital Streaming Services

Increased competition requires diversification
Strategic content creation to aid subscriber growth
Adapting conventional television
Current infrastructure and piracy challenge the potential for the industry
Despite challenges, regional conditions favour positive growth
Opportunities remain for multiple growth strategies


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