Although the ranking order of the top 10 over-the-top streaming services has been re-arranged somewhat following the emergence of new services including Disney+, Apple TV+, Peacock and HBO Max, the top three services — Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu — don’t appear to be going anywhere soon.

That’s according to the latest Top 10 U.S. Subscription OTT Services Market Tracker from Parks Associates, which found thepremium video streaming services solidly in place at the top of the order, even as Disney+, HBO Max and Apple TV+ have disrupted the positions of Sling TV, which was pushed out of the top 10, and MLB.TV, which tried to rekindle interest in baseball amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

ESPN+, which ranks No. 5 among all subscription apps, is now the sole sports-related premium OTT service app in the Top 10, the study shows. The ranking was compiled using estimated subscriber numbers through September 2020.

Among the recent changes, NBCUniversal’s Peacock has started to advance by growing the number of paid subscriptions. However, the service continues to be dominated by users of its free ad-supported tier.

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“For many years, the Big 3 in OTT, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, have ruled the top of the subscription-based OTT service space,” stated Steve Nason, Research Director, Parks Associates. “However, with newer entrants and expanded offerings, that trend may be about to change. The Big 3 and their main challengers have gone to market with varying content and distribution strategies, with the same goal in mind: reach elusive consumers with a compelling content offering and user experience to be a foundational essential service in an OTT subscriber’s service stack.”

“The Walt Disney Company announced 10 million subscribers upon initial launch, which put Disney+ as fourth on the list, where it has remained for almost a year,” Nason said. “That shows how difficult it will be for any service to break into the ‘Big 3’ for OTT services. Partnerships are essential. For example, HBO Max will get a boost from its deal with Amazon to roll out its service on Amazon Fire TV devices.”

Parks Associates’ OTT Video Market Tracker tracks the content offerings, business strategies, and subscription numbers for OTT services in North America. The research firm reports that 78% of US broadband households subscribe to at least one OTT service, up from 71% the previous year. The new report The Next ‘Big 3’ in OTT evaluates the emergence of new SVOD services recently launched and their potential impact on the market penetration and revenue of the current dominant services.

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By Greg Tarr

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