U.S. Subscription Streaming Growth Remains Steady Amid Inflation

Top Gun: Maverick
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

U.S. subscription streaming revenue grew by 17.3% in the third quarter to nearly $7.7 billion, a slight acceleration from the 16.9% growth rate for the domestic "SVOD" industry in the same period of 2021, according to new figures from the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG).

Year to date, paid U.S. streamers were up 17.5% to $22.3 billion. The industry was up 19.5% at this time last year.

The remarkable resiliency comes amid generational inflation for the global economy, and more specifically, recent significant price increases for a number of leading SVOD services.

Earlier, Netflix, the largest subscription streaming company in the U.S. and the world, reported a 9.6% year-over-year sales increase of $3.062 billion in the U.S. and Canadian region during the third quarter.

DEG culls data directly from content suppliers, measuring  consumer spending in the U.S. on everything from DVDs to pay TV VOD.

For the third quarter, total spending on these digital entertainment formats -- including SVOD -- was up 13.1% to $9.1 billion.

Sales of packaged media continue to whittle away, down another 16% to $361.6 million in the third quarter. Consider that 20 years ago, DVDs drove domestic home entertainment spending to $23 billion.

Also read: U.S. Subscription Streaming Revenue Spikes 17% in Q3 to Nearly $16.4 Billion

Even factoring in SVOD -- which blurs the lines between the traditional "TV" and "home video" businesses -- the paid video business still isn't its old pre-disrupted self, adjusting for inflation.

But the new formats, beyond just SVOD, continue to show growth.

Electronic sell-through (EST) grew by 9.5% in the third quarter to $611 million, with consumers now spending almost twice as much buying movies off transactional services like Amazon, Google and Vudu vs. buying DVDs and Blu-rays.

In fact, with Paramount providing a hot EST title to the market in Q3 in the form of Top Gun: Maverick, the overall sell-through biz came close to being flat in a quarter for the first time in years (down only 1.6% to $972.6 million).

(Image credit: Digital Entertainment Group (DEG))

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!