AMC+ and other niche SVODs growing faster than Netflix, Hulu

AMC+, BET+, Cinemax, CuriosityStream and other “specialty” SVOD services have enjoyed a two-year growth rate that outpaces their bigger peers like Netflix and Hulu.

Antenna, a company specializing in measurement and analytics for subscription streaming services, released new growth data for the second quarter of 2021 and found that the 10 specialty SVOD services it tracks have a two-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 74% in the U.S. The company tracked other specialty SVODs—which it defines as focused on one particular audience or content category—including BritBox, Acorn TV, Epix, PBS Masterpiece, Shudder and Sundance Now.

(Credit: Antenna)

Over the same two-year window, Antenna tracked growth for 10 “premium” SVODs—Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Starz, Showtime, Discovery+, Peacock and Apple TV+—and clocked them at an overall CAGR of 30%.

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“The success of new services like Disney+, Peacock, and Discovery+, and the growth of existing players like HBO, Showtime and Starz, demonstrates that consumers will support a robust selection of Premium SVOD players,” wrote Jonathan Carson, co-founder and chair of Antenna Analytics, in a blog post. “But another interesting thing has happened. Specialty SVOD services, which focus on one particular audience or content category, have grown significantly faster than the Premium players in the past two years.”

Antenna looked at growth for 17 of the SVOD services that it tracks which have been available since June 2020 and found that Sundance Now had the highest rate of year over year growth at 83%, followed by Paramount+ (81%), Epix (74%), HBO Max (72%) and BET+ (71%).

Hulu and Netflix were the bottom two on the list—at 6% and -1% respectively—but they are two of the most mature and market saturated services among those that Antenna tracks. The company said that in mid-2019, Netflix and Hulu accounted for nearly 75% of premium SVOD subscriptions. Netflix and Hulu now make up just 48% of premium subscriptions and have accounted for only 9% of category growth in the past two years.