The EntStrategy Guy US Subscriber Estimates for Q1 of 2023
Who's Leading the American Streaming Wars?
(Welcome to the Entertainment Strategy Guy, a newsletter on the entertainment industry and business strategy. I write a weekly Streaming Ratings Report and a bi-weekly strategy column, along with occasional deep dives into other topics, like today’s article. If you were forwarded this email, please subscribe to get these insights each week.)
It’s time, once again, for one of my absolutely favorite articles to research, the Entertainment Strategy Guy estimates of the US subscribers for each streamer. Yes, yes, I didn’t quite get this report out for Q4 of 2022 because—frankly—the future of film series swamped me.1
But to make it up to you for the delay, I did some extra work, updating all my estimates for all the streamers back to Q4 of 2019, the rough start of this current phase of the streaming wars. (That’s the quarter Disney and Apple launched their streamers, followed by HBO Max, Peacock and a Paramount+ rebrand.)
As a reminder…
I estimate paid subscribers for every streamer (with over 5 million subscribers)2, even the ones that disclose nothing, like Amazon and Apple.
My goal is to estimate the number of “paid” subscribers per streamer. If a streamer offers their service in a bundle—Amazon Prime, for example—I imagine a world where Prime Video stood on its own. How many folks would pay for that service?
These are not the current subscriber totals for the streamers, but how many subscribers each streamer had as of the end March (or “Q1 of 2023”). I primarily use official subscriber estimates from the streamers’ quarterly reports, so before I can make my own estimates, I need their data. That usually delays things a bit.
The Overall Charts
With no further ado, here’s the main chart you came for: