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What Subscription Fatigue? U.S. SVOD Biz Grew 21% to $12.2 Billion in the First Half of 2021

Betty Crocker pie
(Image credit: Betty Crocker)

The revenue pie has indeed expanded for the recent flood of new entrants to the U.S. SVOD business. 

According to the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), domestic spending on subscription streaming rose 21% in the first six months of 2021 to $12.2 billion, and 17% in the second quarter to $6.3 billion. 

The growth comes despite a tough comparison to the second quarter of 2020, during which most U.S. consumers were tightly quarantined under COVID-19 restrictions, with video streaming usage spiking accordingly. It also comes as these same restrictions significantly slowed production of new original content. 

DEG attributes the growth to interest in the flurry of SVOD services that launched over the previous 18-month span, a list that includes Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus, Quibi, Peacock, HBO Max, Discovery Plus and Paramount Plus

Yes, the number of U.S. SVOD services is definitely up more than 21%. The pie is bigger, but it still might not be big enough for everyone. 

Overall, DEG said the U.S. “home entertainment” sector expanded its sales by 5% to $15.7 billion in the first half of 2021. 

Included in that bag is subscription streaming, pay TV VOD, digital rental and sales of movies and TV shows, and physical (i.e. DVD and Blu-ray) distribution of programming. 

Disc sales plunged another 25.6% in the first half of 2021 to $947.56 million. 

(Image credit: DEG)
Daniel Frankel

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. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.