Video Streaming App Revenue and Usage Statistics (2024)

David Curry

Updated: March 1, 2024

In the mid-2000s, improvements to data speeds and broadband costs led to an explosion of first generation video streaming services. A group of ex-PayPal employees founded YouTube in 2005. Seeing the success of it, DVD rental company Netflix scrapped its planned streaming device and launched an internet-based streaming service instead. 

Only a year after the launch of YouTube, Google acquired it for $1.65 billion. At the time, it was seen as an extravagant purchase, for a nascent technology which hadn’t generated any meaningful revenue. But, for Netflix and Amazon, it was confirmation that this market was set for spectacular growth in the next decade. Amazon launched Prime Video in 2006 and across the pond, the BBC launched iPlayer in 2007. All of the inaugural players were active, although it would take a few more years for recommendation systems to mature.

In China, the earliest platforms had already begun operations before YouTube. Youku and Todou, the original pioneers of video streaming, launched in 2003 and 2005, respectively. It would be five years before Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu took an interest in the market. Baidu launched iQiyi in 2010, which was the first foray into premium video streaming in China. Tencent Video came shortly afterwards, although until 2013 both were primarily focused on free, user generated content. 

A major turning point in video streaming came in 2013, when Netflix debuted House of Cards, its first original series. Until then, Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services spent almost all their content budget acquiring older TV shows and movies, which had already been released on television or in the cinema. With this move, Netflix altered the power dynamics by showing it could create quality content that millions would watch. In the next few years, it would launch some of the most popular TV shows of the decade, including Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things and Narcos. 

Amazon followed suit in 2015, with the launch of The Man in the High Castle and Mr. Robot. Even Hulu, a streaming service owned by the four big US media corporations as a way to combat Netflix’s success, began publishing its own shows. By 2022, a significant portion of each video streaming services content spend was on original content. 

Film and TV studios have not remained static over the past decade. Warner Bros, NBC Universal, CBS and Disney have all launched streaming services to compete with Netflix. In the UK, ITV and Channel 4 have launched streaming apps.

User generated content has had less of a fun time over the past five years. While revenue and usage has increased, YouTube has been accused of promoting harassment and disinformation, forcing it to change moderation policies to keep advertisers happy. The introduction of TikTok to the Western world in 2018 also created a new competitor for YouTube, which is quickly becoming one of the most used apps in the world. Bytedance is one of the new wave technology companies in China, competing with the old guard of Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. It operates Douyin, a Chinese version of TikTok, and Xigua Video.

The coronavirus pandemic, far from being a detriment to the industry as it has to its neighbours (cinemas, film studios), produced a surge in subscribers and revenue. Netflix added 25 million new subscribers in the first half of 2020, far outpacing its projections. However, in 2022, the cracks started to show in Netflix’s armour, with its first decline in monthly subscribers. Similar stagnation has happened with Disney Plus. 

That said, as a whole the industry has a positive future outlook, with a continuing shift of people moving from traditional programming (TV, cinema) to streaming. Some movies, once held for more than six months after cinemas, are being released on streaming platforms in conjunction with cinema release or just a few weeks afterwards.

We have collected data and statistics on the video streaming app market. Read on below to find out more.

Key video streaming app statistics

  • Revenue for the entire video streaming app industry reached $82.3 billion in 2022, and is projected to reach $115 billion by 2026
  • YouTube is the most popular free video streaming app in the US, Netflix is the most popular video subscription app
  • In the UK, YouTube is the most popular app, but BBC and ITV are not far behind
  • China’s most popular video streaming platform is Tencent Video, with 900 million users

Top video streaming apps

Title 1Title 2 most popular video streaming service in the world, with over two billion active users. Has a Premium offering which removes ads is the largest paid-for video streaming service in the world, with 195 million subscribers and a $17 billion annual content spend Prime VideoOne of the many perks of an Amazon Prime subscription, which has become a force in its own right with hundreds of original in November 2019, Disney+ is already a global force in the video streaming market, with over 70 million subscribers worldwide TV+Apple has the deepest pockets of any company in the world, and is expected to shell out billions to make Apple TV+ a popular service has a wide range of US television series, alongside a growing library of original content. It is owned by Disney most popular streaming service for video gaming, owned by Amazon. Twitch has over 150 million active users MaxHBO Max is the latest video streaming service for HBO content. It also includes films and TV shows from Warner Media Universal's attempt to compete with Netflix. The network holds the rights to popular series Parks and Recreation and The Office iPlayerThe premier streaming service for UK television programmes, including Doctor Who, Sherlock and Planet Earth HubThe other half of British TV programming, responsible for hit TV shows Love Island, Downtown Abbey and Broadchurch VideoChina's most popular video streaming service in usage and subscribers, broadcasts content from the BBC's video streaming service, the first to sign licensing agreements with Western production companies, including Netflix original video streaming service in China, somewhat overshadowed by Tencent and Baidu's move to premium content's most popular video streaming service with over 300 million active users, acquired by Disney in 2020's video game streaming industry is booming and DouYu is the most popular service, with over 170 million active users

Video Streaming App Revenue

The video streaming industry reached $82.3 billion in 2022, with most of the revenue coming from the United States. It is projected to reach $115 billion by 2026.

Global streaming projected market size 2018 to 2026 ($bn)

US Video Streaming App Market Share

Netflix is still in the lead for streaming app market share in the United States, but has been losing market share every quarter since Q1 2021. The launch of Paramount, Apple TV+, and Peacock has also diluted the market.

US video streaming app market share 2021 to 2023 (%)

US Video Streaming App Usage

The two free platforms, YouTube and TikTok, lead the pack in total usage. Netflix has the most usage out of any of the premium platforms, with Amazon Prime Video in fourth place.

US video streaming app usage 2022 (mm)

UK video streaming app usage

YouTube is ahead in the UK as well, although the gap between YouTube and other services is smaller. BBC and ITV are both watched by about 30 million people in the UK, and Netflix is behind with only 17 million viewers.

UK video streaming usage 2022 (mm)

China video streaming app usage

Tencent Video is by far the most popular video streaming platform in China, with free and premium content available on the platform. Douyin is the fastest growing service, which is China’s TikTok.

China video streaming app usage 2022 (mm)

Game streaming hours watched

Twitch is the lead platform for gaming content, far ahead of YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming in terms of concurrent viewers.

Game streaming concurrent users 2019 to 2023 (bn)

Get connected with the best app marketing, engagement, UA, analytics and revenue platforms & services