The number of streaming service subscriptions passed 1 billion worldwide for the first time in 2020, highlighting massive growth in Hollywood’s direct-to-consumer business as the COVID-19 pandemic kept moviegoers glued to their sofas.
Online video subscriptions soared 26% to 1.1 billion last year, according to a report by the Motion Picture Assn. on the theatrical and home entertainment market. The Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group represents the legacy Hollywood studios and Netflix.
The report, released Thursday, reflects the staggering effect that COVID-19 has had on the entertainment industry. It’s also the result of legacy media companies investing heavily in their own streamers — such as Disney+, Apple TV+ and HBO Max — and Netflix and Amazon bringing more original movies and shows to their apps.