Since its appearance on the Web in Nov. 2019, the Disney+ premium streaming app has proven to be a disruptive force in the emerging over-the-top (OTT) premium video services market, data gathered by JustWatch has found.

According to the international online OTT title search and listings engine, activity for Netflix and Prime Video (the top two SVOD service apps) almost instantly dropped as Disney+, and to a lesser degree Apple+ (which launched in the same time frame), saw subscribers ramp up in the first months of operation.

Meanwhile, the launch of Disney+ and Apple TV+ in November 2019 resulted in an almost immediate downturn in measured activity for Netflix and Prime Video. The metrics through JustWatch of the two largest players have remained relatively constant at either just above 30% (in the case of Netflix) or just below 30% (in the case of Amazon Prime) since February of 2020.

As Disney+ kept expanding into new markets around the world, its share in JustWatch’s measured interest activity has continued a gradual ascent with no signs of stopping.

JustWatch metrics of the various OTT services showed that Disney+ has been able to consistently grow subscriber numbers as it has started opening up access in six regions of the world between the initial U.S./Netherlands 2019 launch and the end of May 2021.

Disney+ and its related international streaming service properties combined measured about 20% share at the end of May 2021, JustWatch charts show. Meanwhile, Apple+, Hulu and HBOMax (which launched in May 2020) have seen measured activity plateau, or in hulu’s case, drop to just under 10% share each. HBOMax’s activity grew between May 2020-July 2020 before leveling off, the data shows.

JustWatch offers an online guide and smartphone app that aggregates title listings for movies and TV shows offered by more than a hundred streaming content services to make it faster and easier for viewers to find the programs they are looking got. These disparate international on-demand OTT services range from some the most popular to U.S. audiences, to some international sources that might be less familiar to some viewers. Among them are: Netflix, Disney+, Now TV, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, hayu, Mubi, Sky Go, All 4, Curzon, Chili, YouTube, Rakuten TV and others.

JustWatch even directs searchers to movies still showing in cinemas.

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Users have a number of filters at their disposal to search through including: genres, prices, ratings scores, age ranges and even available resolution quality. The service also provides suggestions based on a user’s preferences, and will let viewers jump from the suggested listing in the JustWatch app to the service where the recommended program is being hosted.

JustWatch doesn’t provide direct in-app streaming of program, but it does offer a free and convenient way to browse for something of interest without having to go looking through dozens of different apps and services.

The service then gathers data from the searches and selections made by its users to assemble relevant information on trending content and streaming behaviors. Users have the ability to register an account with JustWatch to enable a greater level of personalization in performing searches and giving users a heads-up when a movie or program becomes available. Signing up for account will require accepting email marketing from JustWatch, with the option of turning that off in settings after the fact.

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By Greg Tarr

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