When it comes to the online video streaming market, Netflix is the most prominent name. Netflix is an American over-the-top content platform and production company. The company operates from California, US. Initially, the company started its operations in 1997 as an online DVD selling and renting store. However, the company later changed its business model to online video streaming.
Netflix became one of the fastest-growing companies in the market. Due to the low competition, Netflix captures a significant portion of the online streaming market. The company still dominates with a large market share. However, it has also found competition from other big names, including Disney+, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, etc.
Netflix reported it had approximately 209 million users worldwide in 2020. It also generated revenues of almost $25 billion in the same year. In these terms, the company dominates the OTT platform market. Although Netflix remained unchallenged throughout the years of its operations, the competition has been catching up.
Netflix’s business model provided the primary factor to its success initially. However, most other companies have used this model to promote their content through their own platform. Despite that, Netflix has expanded its operations into other areas, such as production. It has not only allowed the company to stay relevant but also increased its revenues and profitability.
Overall, Netflix is the largest name in the OTT platform market. However, there are several alternatives that have attracted its users. The competition has gotten tougher over time, increasing the number of competitors in the market. Some of the top Netflix competitors and alternatives are as below.
Disney+, an OTT video streaming platform from the US, is the most prominent Netflix competitor and alternative. The company reported 116 million users in July 2021, making it one of the top streaming services worldwide. Disney+ has gained a significant market share in a relatively short amount of time, launching in 2015.
One of the primary advantages that Disney+ has over Netflix is its original content. Disney has been in the production sector long before its OTT platform service. The company has only used this platform to elevate its content and reach more audiences. The company also acquired several other studios, which provided it access to the more original content. On top of that, the subscription service is also cheaper than Netflix.
2. Amazon Prime Video
Amazon started its operations as an online bookstore. However, the company grew significantly after becoming an online retail store. Over time, Amazon has ventured into several other businesses, including the OTT platforms market. Amazon Prime Video is an OTT platform powered by Amazon, a competitor to Netflix’s business.
Amazon Prime debuted in 2006 as Amazon Unbox. However, it only gained relevance recently. Amazon Prime Video is a primary competitor to Netflix in both the OTT streaming and content production markets. However, the platform reported over 175 million users in April 2021. Being a subscription-based service similar to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video only generated $2 billion in revenues in 2020.
3. HBO Max
Similar to Disney, HBO is a well-known company for its original productions. HBO started its own online streaming platform, known as HBO Go. Eventually, the platform got renamed to HBO Now and later to HBO Max. Currently, it is known as HBO (or sometimes HBO Max). The OTT platform reported 142 million users in 2017, a number that experts believe has grown.
HBO Now benefits from the years of original content produced by HBO. For Netflix, this content is inaccessible, which makes HBO Now a favourite option for users seeking that content. Apart from its original content, the company also has several other third-party content providers. HBO and Netflix compete in various markets.
Like Disney+ and HBO, CBS also started its own OTT streaming platform. The company initially launched CBS All Access in 2014, which later got renamed Paramount+ in 2021. The renaming was a part of a rebranding of its OTT platform. Paramount+ reported 42 million users as of 2021. Paramont+ provides its services in several countries, some of which it does through its partners.
Similar to some other names on this list, Paramount+ gains a significant advantage from its years of original content. CBS is one of the most prominent networks in the US. Due to its years of original production, the company has access to a large content base. On top of that, Paramount+ also carries sports programming, making it a top choice in the market.
Hulu is an online streaming service. This company is owned by the Walt Disney Company and Comcast. The company commenced its operations as a joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corporation. The Walt Disney Company also joined the joint venture later. Initially, it only served as a host to episodes from TV series for the respective television networks. Eventually, however, the company began its subscription services, branded as Hulu Plus.
Hulu reported 42.8 million users in July 2021. Like most other names on this list, Hulu also owns some original content exclusive to its platform. However, this content may not be as diverse or extensive as others. Hulu also partners with other companies to provide exclusive content to its users. Although not as big as Netflix, Hulu still holds a decent market share in the OTT platform world.
Following the footsteps of other American networks, NBC also launched its OTT platform in 2019. This platform was called Peacock and made available in April 2020. Peacock reported 54 million users in July 2021, of which about 10 million were premium. Peacock primarily hosts content from NBCUniversal studios and other third-party content providers.
Although relatively new to the market, Peacock has accumulated a fair share of users. The platform holds the advantage of hosting original and extensive content from NBC and NBC Sports. On top of that, it has also obtained the right to other third-party libraries, such as the WWE Network, giving it an extensive library. With its current growth rate, Peacock poses a significant threat to Netflix’s business.
7. Apple TV+
Apple is one of the largest names in the technology industry. Primarily known for its smartphone and computers, Apple has also ventured into several other businesses. One of these includes its Apple TV+ platform, which is a subscription video-on-demand streaming television service. This service started in 2019 and is currently accessible in about 100 countries.
Apple TV+ reported 10 million users in 2020. The platform does not have the same original and extensive content base as some other names on the list. However, it has acquired various back catalogue films and TV content. Being the primary streaming service on many Apple devices has helped the platform grow substantially.
8. YouTube TV
When it comes to online video streaming in general, no other platform comes near YouTube’s popularity. However, it is a user-content platform that does not work through subscriptions. Despite that, it is a highly profitable company, which operates under Google. YouTube also has a subscription-based streaming television service, known as YouTube TV.
YouTube TV does not have the advantage of having original or exclusive content. However, it gets a substantial amount of exposure through YouTube itself. However, that does not imply that users can’t find any content on the platform. Being associated with YouTube and Google helps YouTube TV pose a significant threat to Netflix.
9. Sling TV
Although not as well-known name as others on this list, Sling TV is a great alternative to Netflix. The company works under Sling TV LLC, which is a subsidiary of Dish Network. The company started its operations in 2015 and offered streaming television services in several countries. The platform reported 2.44 million subscribers in 2021.
Sling TV does not compete in the OTT market. However, it still poses a threat to Netflix’s business. Primarily, Sling TV offers access to 30 live and on-demand TV networks. These include some top news and sports networks across the US. Sling TV also provides customization features to enhance at affordable prices user experience.
FuboTV is an American, Canadian, and Spanish streaming television service. The company, FuboTV Inc., launched its platform in 2015 as a soccer streaming service. However, they expanded to include all sports in 2017. In terms of functionality, FuboTV is more similar to Sling TV than Netflix and primarily focuses on sports.
Like most other names on the list, FuboTV does not host content. Instead, it provides access to live TV channels that offer all types of sport. It powers the company with a great specialization that most others lack. Similarly, FuboTV specializes in sports-based content, which Netflix does not have.
Netflix is one of the most prominent names in the online subscription-based streaming services market. The company holds a significant dominance over the market due to its original and extensive content. However, it has also begun to attract more competition. The list of top ten Netflix competitors and alternatives are provided above.