Amazon Prime Video Tops Streaming Services in New Subscribers for Q2, Disney+ and ESPN+ Fall Back

HBO Max has strong debut, with 1 in 10 new subscribers signing up for WarnerMedia service

Amazon Prime Video outperformed its competitors in Q2, reporting the highest growth in new subscriptions across streaming video on demand platforms in the second quarter, while  ESPN+ struggled to retain users given the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on live sports.

The findings were part of analytics firm Kantar’s quarterly Entertainment On-Demand reports. Kantar found that Prime Video subscriptions accounted for 23% of SVOD subscriptions, a sharp increase from its previous 14% last quarter.

ESPN+ saw a decrease in subscribers as live sports continue to stay on hold. Disney+ failed to continue its momentum and new subscriptions dropped more than 50% over the quarter — 13.3% of new subscriptions were for Disney+ compared to 30.9% in the first quarter.

HBO Max’s mid-May launch was a strong start for the new WarnerMedia-owned streaming service. HBO Max grabbed one in ten new SVOD subscriptions taken out over the second quarter, and Kantar noted that 33% of respondents said content was a motivating factor for subscribing. “The Sopranos,” “Westworld,” and “Game of Thrones” were the top three titles that drove HBO Max signups, Kantar said.

“HBO can be pleased with progress to date in terms of new subscriber numbers, and importantly at the end of Q220, just 18% were on free trials,” said Kantar senior vice president Dominic Sunnebo. “They key challenge for HBO Max will be enduring longevity of subscribers – there are already some signs that attitudinally, HBO Max subscribers do not view it as a long-term commitment, in the same way they do Netflix. Driving engagement with newer HBO content, alongside headliners like ‘Sopranos’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ will be important.”