Video Streaming App Revenue and Usage Statistics (2023)

David Curry

Updated: May 25, 2023

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. 

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