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Netflix Viewership To Decline for the First Time

Disney+ to surpass 100 million viewers


September 27, 2022 (New York, NY) – Netflix viewership in the US could get worse before it gets better, according to the latest OTT video service users forecast from Insider Intelligence. At the same time, Disney+ is on pace to surpass 100 million viewers as double-digit growth continues for the young streaming platform.



Insider Intelligence is forecasting a drop in US Netflix viewers this year—for the first time ever—as high inflation causes cost-conscious consumers to be deterred by the platform’s price hike last January. This year, we expect Netflix to have 169.3 million individual viewers, down 2.3% from last year.

“Netflix is losing viewers to lower-priced competitors that are pouring massive resources into content development,” said Oscar Bruce Jr., senior forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence. “Its price increase and the availability of bundles and deals for other services have put Netflix at a big disadvantage as consumers deal with soaring inflation.”

Netflix now holds a 65.6% share of digital video viewers in the US, down from 68.4% in 2021. We expect user growth to turn positive again next year, once Netflix launches its ad-supported tier. However, its share of both US digital video viewers and OTT video service viewers will not reach 2021 levels for the foreseeable future as competitors eat into Netflix’s share of the market.

“The ad-supported tier will be critical in attracting and retaining price-sensitive viewers,” Bruce said. “This will allow Netflix to boost average revenue per user while avoiding—or at least limiting—future price increases.”



Disney+, Netflix’s much younger competitor, is still growing robustly. This year, we expect US viewership to grow by 13.6% to reach 108.7 million, surpassing 100 million for the first time. Growth will remain in the double digits into next year, then decline to single digits for the remainder of our forecast. By 2026, Disney+ will have 147.2 million viewers, almost on par with Hulu. Netflix will have 180.9 million.

“There’s a chance that Disney will acquire Comcast’s share of Hulu by 2024,” Bruce said. “Disney’s CEO recently said they’d love to integrate Hulu into Disney+, and that could happen once Comcast is out of the picture.”

Disney+ currently captures an increasing 42.1% of digital video viewers. By 2025, it will capture more than half.



YouTube has been the dominant player in the OTT video space since Insider Intelligence began tracking the company in 2010, which is expected given that most of its content is free. This year, it will have 231.5 million viewers, up 2.3% over last year. By 2026, its viewership in the US will reach nearly 250 million.


Forecasts and estimates from Insider Intelligence are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms, and public companies, as well as from interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers, and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness. Each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of available data means the forecasts reflect the latest business developments, technology trends, and economic changes. 


About Insider Intelligence 

Insider Intelligence aims to be the world’s leading research service focused on digital transformation. Our mission is to empower professionals with the data, insights, and analysis to make grounded decisions in a digital world. Each year, we produce nearly 300 reports, 7,000 charts, 1,500 newsletters, and 200 forecasts across the industries of Advertising, Media, and Marketing; Financial Services; Healthcare; and Retail and Ecommerce. Insider Intelligence is owned by European media giant Axel Springer S.E. and was formed in 2020 from the combination of eMarketer and Business Insider Intelligence (BII). 

Posted on September 27, 2022.