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Now, everyone knows that Netflix is the king of all streaming services without seeing specific data in the same way we know the wind exists without actually seeing it. It hasn’t been exactly clear just how big Netflix’s throne and kingdom were, but in the U.S. alone, the House That DVD Rentals Built is standing over five times as tall as Hulu, its next biggest competitor. From there on down, it just gets silly.
Netflix is coasting along happily with a domestic subscription base that is over 43 million-strong, while the total of international customers is over 70 million. That’s a pretty astounding total, though the number of subscribers in other countries is bound to get even bigger, considering the global push is still merely a month old. Other services aren’t nearly as predominant across the planet as Netflix, but even when things are limited to just the U.S., there’s still quite a daunting tilt in Netflix’s favor.
Take a look at Hulu, the TV-focused service sitting in the #2 slot. Hulu hasn’t been very forthcoming in recent months with updated information on their subscribers, last putting the total at around 9 million back in April of last year. To be expected, that number has grown since then, according to TheWrap, with lots more shows and other content getting added. And it’s likely that even more will sign up now that Hulu is getting into original dramas with big-name actors and actresses. But it’s not clear if it could or would ever surpass Netflix.
Amazon Prime would seemingly be in the running for second or third place, but the company hasn’t given away viewership information. And it’s impossible to gauge how many Amazon Prime subscribers are actually using the streaming service and not just yearning for free shipping on everything. So we order our Bluetooth footbaths and move on.
Rounding out the pack is HBO Now, which HBO CEO Richard Plepler said is hitting about 800,000 customers, and CBS All Access, which doesn’t have specific recent figures out there, but is likely well over 100,000 subscribers. (SlingTV is also kicking with around 400,000 subscribers.) Both HBO and CBS still have a ton of loyal fans that watch the networks on proper television, which is a good reason why their streaming bases aren’t bigger. CBS All Access might get a big boost, however, from the Bryan Fuller-led Star Trek series that will be a streaming exclusive.
So there you have it, proof that Netflix can basically do whatever it wants to do, from bringing back long dead hits to granting shows unprecedented three-season renewals willy nilly. Any company that announces it will spend $5 billion a year on scripted entertainment should definitely have the consumer support to back it up, and being many times more popular than all of the competition is definitely a sign of that.