CTA: 2021 Streaming Services Spending Will Hit $41 Billion

A tablet streaming video
(Image credit: Netflix)

Total spending on streaming services and software is expected to reach a record $112 billion in 2021 (up 11% over 2020), with streaming services accounting for more than a third of that figure.  

That is according to the Consumer Technology Association's new biannual survey, "U.S. Consumer Technology One-Year Industry Forecast," based on shipments to the U.S. of over 300 tech products.

Of that $112 billion, $41 billion is video streaming service-related spending (SVOD--Netflix, Disney Plus and live TV streaming--fubo, Sling).

CTA said that $41 billion projection is because exclusive content--increasingly, new services are clawing back content for their own platforms, and cord-cutting are driving multiple subscriptions per household. That 41% is up 15% over 2020.

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On the gaming side, the report predicts the pandemic-sheltered populace will continue to play online games more than ever, both as entertainment and social connection.

CTA predicts the "video game software and services category" will hit $47 billion in revenue, up 8% from 2020.

And with TV's doubling for movie screens in a era of shuttered theaters, CTA predicts that households will continue to upgrade TV sets, as they did in 2020, a record year for set shipments.

CTA predicts some drop-off, of 8% to 43 million units in 2021, that would still be the second highest volume on record, with revenues declining just 1% to $22 billion. A big growth area, literally, CTA said, is TV's over 70 inches which it predicts will be up 6% to 3.3 million units, and 8K sets, up a whopping 300% to 1.7 million units.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.