30+ Video and music streaming statistics

For many people, online streaming is now the preferred method for viewing shows, movies, sports, and events, as well as listening to music. From Netflix to YouTube to Spotify, national and international streaming services operate in almost every country.

As streaming becomes increasingly popular, we’re given access to a massive amount of data that can be used to help quantify the growing trends that promise to bring an end to traditional entertainment avenues. In this post, we reveal recent facts and statistics that help paint a picture of the video and music streaming industries.

Video streaming stats and facts

As internet bandwidth and speeds increase, streaming video is becoming a viable option for more consumers across the world. In many countries, users can now stream all of their favorite video content, from live TV to on-demand video. Here are some of the top stats from 2018–2021 that define the current trends in video streaming.

1. Subscribers flocked to Netflix and other streaming sites during the COVID-19 pandemic

While many businesses struggled due to stay-at-home orders, streaming sites were among the businesses that saw an uptick in sales. For example, Netflix added 36 million new subscribers in 2020 with almost 16 million subscribers in the first three months of 2020 alone. However, this growth slowed in 2021 when Netflix gained 18.2 million subscribers, showing just how much the pandemic inflated 2020 numbers.

Disney+ was another big winner, despite having only launched in November 2019. Since then, it has amassed over 116 million subscribers worldwide, making it more popular than the likes of Paramount Plus (47 million subscribers combined with other ViacomCBS streaming services) and Hulu (43.8 million subscribers) combined.

2. Netflix has over 220 million subscribers

With the above gains, streaming giant Netflix has more than 222 million subscribers. However, the service announced it has lost over 200,000 in Q1 of 2022 and expects to lose a further two million by Q3.

The closest competitor is Amazon Prime Video which also has more than 200 million members, although since this is rolled into its standard Amazon Prime membership, it doesn’t give a clear indicator of how many people use the streaming service. China’s dominant streaming service is iQIYI, which has over 106 million paid subscribers.

3. YouTube has 2 billion monthly active users

More than two billion logged-in users access YouTube every month. The platform has over 30 million daily users watching over a billion hours of video every day. YouTube’s Android app has over five billion installs and the iOS version was one of 2021’s 10 most downloaded apps from the App Store.

YouTube user statistics.
Source: YouTube

4. Disney will spend over $33 billion on content in 2022

In 2021, Disney spent approximately $25 billion on content. However, it isn’t planning on easing up in 2022 when it will be spending over $33 billion. To put this in context, Netflix has an expected annual spend of $17 billion on original content in 2022, putting it some way behind Disney in the spending wars.

5. Cost, ease of use, and variety are the most important streaming service attributes

According to the Nielsen Total Audience Report, 84 percent of users rank cost as either extremely or very important when selecting a streaming service. This is closely followed by ease of use (81 percent), variety or availability of content (79 percent), streaming and playback quality (77 percent), and speed of menu selection and content loading (74 percent).

Video streaming attributes chart from the Nielsen report.
Source: Nielsen

6. Netflix accounts for almost one-third of video streaming

Nielsen found that Netflix has the largest share of streaming distribution at 34 percent (up from 31 percent in Q4 of 2019). YouTube isn’t too far behind with 20 percent. Much of the rest is shared by Hulu (11 percent) and Amazon Prime (eight percent). The same study found that streaming accounts for 25 percent of all TV usage — a 6 percent increase in less than a year.

Streaming services usage and distribution
Source: Neilsen

7. Collectively, we’re streaming more than ever

According to Conviva’s state of streaming Q4 2021 report, we’re all using streaming services more frequently. There was a huge jump in streaming during the pandemic, but also from Q4 2020 to Q4 2021. South America leads the charge with 64 percent more streaming than before, followed by Oceania and Africa at 54 percent and 51 percent, respectively. Globally, there was seven percent increase in streaming.

8. The global streaming market will be worth upwards of $180 billion by 2027

A market research report by Grand View Research found that the global streaming market was worth $42.6 billion in 2019. It’s expected to grow more than 20 percent per year and reach a total of $184.3 billion by 2027.

9. Netflix’s growth slowed for the first time in years

Netflix’s revenue (PDF) for Q1 2022 was over $7 billion. This represented a 9.8 percent increase as compared to the previous year’s 19 percent growth. Of course, the pandemic has made year-over-year comparisons somewhat more complicated but it seems that consumers are increasingly leaving Netflix, possibly due to its recent lack of hit shows or the ever-growing number of competing services.

10. The most-watched shows rack up billions of streaming minutes

2020 saw the first ever Nielsen streaming report, which showed that while familiar shows like The Office remain extremely popular, Netflix Originals come out on top in the short term. For instance, The Umbrella Academy accounted for more than 3 billion minutes of our attention on its own during its first week of release.

The most streamed original series of 2021 were Lucifer, Squid Game, The Great British Baking Show, Virgin River, and Bridgerton, all of which happen to be Netflix series. In fact, 12 of the 15 most-streamed original series were Netflix titles. In terms of acquired series, Netflix again dominated in streaming hours with Criminal Minds leading the way. It was followed by Cocomelon, Grey’s Anatomy, and NCIS.

11. Disney+ earned 10 million subscribers in one day

Disney’s new streaming service smashed analyst’s predictions when it launched in November 2019. Estimates suggested Disney+ would have around 8 million subscribers by the end of 2019 and 18 million by the end of 2020. As it turned out, the popularity of the service was grossly underestimated. Within a day of launching, 10 million users had signed up, and within three months, Disney+ had 28.6 million subscribers. The most recent reports put the number of users at 137 million and this will likely grow thanks to its exclusive straight-to-streaming titles like Mulan.

12. People tried out lots of streaming services during the COVID-19 pandemic

It’s official: streaming is the future. More than 80 percent of US households have at least one streaming subscription, and the ongoing pandemic has seen a slight increase in the number of American customers, according to Deloitte’s Digital Media Trends Survey, 15th edition.

Deloitte digital media trends figure 1
Source: Deloitte

What’s especially interesting is that people seem to be trying out a wide range of services, not necessarily just video streaming. According to Deloitte’s Digital Media Trends Survey, 14th edition, subscriptions have seen an increase of 11 percent, and audiobooks are up 8 percent. Notably, magazine subscripions are the worst off, with a net growth of just 1 percent.

Subscription statistics
Source: Deloitte

13. PCs are the most popular devices for viewing content in Asia

The Conviva Q4 2021 report shows a very different landscape in Asia. PCs account for 49 percent of viewing time, while mobile accounts for 33 percent. Just fourteen percent of watch time is on TVs. In last place was tablets which accounted for just four percent.

14. Users subscribe to an average of 4 video streaming services

The Deloitte Digital Media Trends Study, 15th edition, found that subscribers in the US have accounts with an average of four streaming video services. This is up from three in the pre-COVID report. However, since the pandemic began, the average user has canceled a subscription and signed up for something new, indicating that people don’t mind shopping around for better content elsewhere.

Almost half (43 percent) of US consumers pay for TV as well as their streaming service subscriptions. This number is higher in Gen Xers as more than half (53 percent) pay for both TV and streaming services. The same study notes that having to deal with multiple services to access all the shows they want is frustrating for many users.

15. Younger consumers tend to cancel and resubscribe

Deloitte’s 2022 Digital Media Trends report shows that the younger a customer is, the more likely they are to cancel and resubscribe at a later date. It could be that these generations have less disposable income and so simply sign up to binge a handful of specific shows at a time.

16. Access to original content is a top reason for subscribing

Deloitte found that one of the major reasons viewers pay for streaming services is to access movies and shows that aren’t available elsewhere. Across generations, 57 percent of users cited this as a top reason, but it’s especially important for millennials, 71 percent of whom stated it was a primary driving factor.

17. Too many ads are pushing viewers away from pay TV

Previous Deloitte reports have found that having to sit through too many advertisements is one of the reasons viewers are opting for streaming services. 44 percent of consumers cited an ad-free experience as being a top reason for using streaming services. Ads make up a whopping 20 minutes out of every hour of TV. 75 percent of viewers think this is massive overkill and 82 percent express frustration with having to see the same ads time and again.

The most recent study, though, found that on average, consumers are okay with 12 minutes of ads per hour as long as there’s no monthly fee. This is huge, since last time, users claimed they’d tune out if a service played more than 14 minutes per hour.

18. YouTube was the most popular video streaming app

According to App Annie’s State of Mobile Report 2022, YouTube remained the most downloaded streaming app in 2021. Despite TikTok more than doubling its number of downloads this year, it failed to enter the top ten.

19. Disney+ ranked second in consumer spend among streaming apps in 2021

The statistics in the App Annie report combine numbers from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store. When it comes to consumer app spend in 2021, Disney+ ranked second behind YouTube. Netflix also made the list, ranking seventh while Chinese video platform iQIYI was sixth.

20. Gen Z and Gen Y are twice as likely as Pre-boomers to binge-watch shows

A 2019 Canadian study by JD Power found that 55 percent of Gen Z and Gen Y respondents binge-watched shows, while only 24 percent of Pre-boomers said they do the same. Similarly, the younger generations are twice as likely to use their TV service provider’s streaming app than their older counterparts.

Music streaming statistics

Music streaming is now bigger than ever, with billions of dollars going into the music streaming industry every year. Most music fans are now using subscription-based streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, but video services like YouTube are also massive sources for music fans. Here are some key stats that help show how the industry is progressing.

21. Music streams surpassed 1 trillion in 2019

The music streaming biz hit a huge milestone on November 25, 2019. This was when number of audio and video-on-demand music streams in the US since the start of the year hit the one trillion mark. Having climbed to 1.03 trillion in 2020, this grew a further 10 percent to 1.13 trillion in 2021. On-demand audio song streaming accounted for the majority (746 billion) of the 2019 streams, although video represented a large chunk (401 billion).

22. Streaming accounts for 24.3 percent of weekly music engagement

According to a 2022 IFPI survey, streaming with the likes of YouTube and Spotify accounts for 24.3 percent of weekly music engagement. This number rises to 35 percent if you include digital downloads too.

23. Nearly 40% of 35-64 year-olds streamed music in the past month

The use of streaming music services is increasing in older generations. IFPI found that 38 percent of those aged 35-64 had streamed music within the past month. That said, it remains that music streaming is most popular among the younger generations with 60 percent of 16-24 year-olds and 61 percent of 25-34 year-olds taking advantage of audio streaming.

IFPI Engaging with Music 2021 audio streaming by demographic
Source: IFPI

24. Instant access to songs is a top reason for streaming

62 percent of listeners appreciate the fact that they can get instant access to a ton of songs when using a streaming service. A similar portion (61 percent) like that they can listen to what they want, while 47 percent appreciate the convenience of streaming.

25. Mexico has the largest percentage of paid subscription streamers

A large portion of music listeners in many global markets are turning to streaming to get their fix. However, the popularity of paid subscription streaming is most pronounced in Mexico where 67 percent of music listeners did so via paid services. The other top five countries included Sweden (62 percent), Brazil (57 percent), Germany (54 percent), and the UK (52 percent).

26. The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted an increase in audio music streaming

According to Music Business Worldwide, there has been a 22.6 percent increase in time spend streaming music worldwide. This followed an 11 percent slump in mid-March, when much of the world went into some form of lockdown.

Chart of audio and video on-demand streams.
Source: MBV

27. Spotify is the most-used music streaming app globally

According to Midia Research, Spotify is the most popular streaming app in the world, accounting for 31 percent of all subscriptions. Apple Music is in second place, with Amazon Music and Tencent Music tied for third at 13 percent.

28. Olivia Rodrigo had 2021’s top-streamed album

Spotify’s annual review offers up a ton of information about the music streaming scene. For instance, it lets us know that Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour” was streamed more than 2.5 billion times in 2021. In second place was Dua Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia”, followed by Justin Bieber’s “Justice”.

29. Drake rules as the most-streamed artist of the 2010s

Drake racked up a total of 36.3 billion on-demand streams over the course of the decade. Although Post Malone did well to come in at second place, he was way behind with 18.9 billion streams. Rounding out the top three was Eminem with 17.8 billion streams. However, 2021’s most streamed artists were Bad Bunny, Taylor Swift, and BTS.

30. Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” was the most-consumed song of 2021

With 1.1 billion streams, Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” was by far the most popular stream of 2021 and one of the biggest of the 2010s. Other viral hits in 2021 included Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” and “Stay” by The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber.

31. More than half of US teens’ music time involves streaming

While the average music listener spends 41 percent of their music time streaming, the average for teens is a bit higher at 53 percent. When it comes to discovering new music, 31 percent of teens use social media as an introducer while 54 percent say that new technologies such as voice assistants and smart TV have made new music discovery easier.

Teen music streaming trend information.
Source: Deloitte

32. R&B and Hip-Hop account for the largest portion of streams

This genre is by far the most popular with streamers, accounting for 31.2 percent of on-demand audio streams and 29.6 percent of on-demand video streams. The rock and pop genres are next, but rock listeners take a larger share of the audio stream market (17.1 percent versus pop’s 13.7 percent), whereas pop listeners make up a larger portion of the video market (15.5 percent compared to rock’s 10.2 percent).

33. Jazz fans are the least likely to stream music

Streaming (both video and audio) makes up a large portion (63.7 percent) of Jazz music consumption, but this is lower than for any other genre. On the other hand, the listeners most likely to stream their music are Latin music fans who consume 97.2 percent of their music via streams.

See also: Cord-cutting statistics 2022