Coronavirus shutdowns and stay-at-home orders have sparked a new boom in the streaming world as established companies rev up content and new players, like HBO Max and Quibi, look to make a splash. Here’s what the industry’s biggest streaming companies are doing to stay ahead of the competition—and how much they’re spending on content in 2020, according to Bloomberg Intelligence data.
Streaming services are spending more on content in a bid to stand out from a crowded field of … [+]
Netflix, unsurprisingly, will dole out the most for new content in 2020, with a budget of $16 billion, according to Bloomberg. The company, which has had past success with original series like Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black, reported a record 16 million new subscribers in the first quarter, bringing its total number of subscriptions worldwide to 183 million.
Amazon, whose Prime Video service has emerged as another big player in the streaming wars, plans to spend $7 billion on content this year. CEO Jeff Bezos, announced earlier this year that Amazon Prime (which includes Prime Video) now boasts over 150 million subscribers worldwide, up from 100 million a year ago.
Netflix’s stock is up over 31% so far this year while Amazon shares are up 29% and hit a new record high on Wednesday.
One key streaming service was left out of Bloomberg’s analysis on content spending: Apple TV+. Originally launched in November 2019 with a content budget of $6 billion, it is the cheapest of any streaming platform, at just $4.99 per month.
The service has surpassed Hulu’s number of subscribers with more than 33 million users, but the majority of those subscribers are on free subscriptions that were offered immediately after the launch, according to Variety. Apple’s stock is up 6% so far in 2020.
Hulu has a content budget of $3 billion this year, Bloomberg’s data shows. Hulu, which is majority owned by the Walt Disney Company, has also seen good subscriber growth during the pandemic with its total customers rising to 28 million, up from 25 million in January.
Disney+, which launched with much fanfare last year, has a budget of between $1.5 billion and $1.75 billion to spend on content in 2020. The service, which has exclusive rights to popular franchises like Star Wars and Marvel, has been growing at a fast clip, racking up over 50 million subscribers in just five months. Disney’s stock is down 20% this year as coronavirus shutdowns forced closures of its parks around the globe.
The newest major streaming service to enter the scene, HBO Max, will launch later this month with between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion to spend on content this year. According to HBO’s website, all of its channels (HBO Go, HBO Now) have a combined 35 million subscribers worldwide.
HBO has been owned by Warner Media, a subsidiary of AT&T, since 2018. AT&T’s stock is down nearly 24% in 2020.
Quibi, the new mobile-centric platform which offers episodes and news in under 10-minute segments, has $1 billion to spend on content in 2020. But the service, which launched in early April, has had a slow start: Only 3.5 million people downloaded the app, with just 1.3 million active users.
Other services include: NBCUniversal’s Peacock, set to launch in July with $800 million to $1 billion to spend on content, and CBS All Access, which has a content budget of $800 million, according to Bloomberg.
Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, has seen its stock fall 15% in 2020, while ViacomCBS shares are down a whopping 52%.