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Netflix to hit 100m subscribers worldwide by 2018

Thursday, October 29th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Netflix will have 100m global subscribers by 2018, according to new research.

Analysis firm IHS Technology forecasts that subscriptions to the streaming giant will grow by 22% between now and 2019, with huge growth in Western Europe over the next three years.

The number one market in Europe will be the UK, with 7.1m subscribers by 2018, IHS said.

The growth of Netflix comes as part of an analysis into potential changes in the TV market, which will see channels go straight to consumers in a bid to battle online subscription-based services.

The growing popularity of Netflix is a “major factor” spurring the launch of channels’ ‘direct to consumer’ launches, IHS said.

Dan Cryan, senior director of media and content at IHS Technology, said: “Between now and 2019, we forecast subscriptions will grow by 22%, with 10m new subscribers to be added in the US."

Ted Hall, research director at IHS, said: “Excluding spend on sports, in 2013 and 2014, Netflix outspent almost everyone on original and acquired content.

“In 2014, Netflix’s content spend was about double that of ITV and Amazon.

“International subscribers are key for Netflix. As Netflix invests more in international content, we expect to see huge growth in Western Europe over the next three years, with 10m new subscribers to be added to its already burgeoning international base.”

According to Mr Hall, the traditional TV market is entering a period of flux.

“The core concept of the [TV] channel is fragmenting, as audience behaviour is changing and broadcasters are adapting to meet evolving viewer needs,” he said.

'More power'

“The traditional linear channel will be around for a long time to come, but it will become increasingly marginalised by a plethora of online services, from catch-up TV to TV Everywhere, pay TV channels’ streaming offerings and YouTube multi-channel networks.”

The popularity of services like Netflix is spurring on the launch of ‘direct to consumer’ (D2C) offerings, IHS said.

“HBO Now, Discovery DPlay and DisneyLife are leading the way and employing a strategy that not only gives them more power in carriage-fee negotiations, but also allows them to grab their piece of the growing online-subscription revenue pie,” Mr Hall added.

Cable.co.uk has previously reported on ITV's plans to replace both its website and streaming service with a single new 'digital destination', the ITV Hub, with live streaming at its heart.

Earlier this year, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that streaming and internet-based TV would replace traditional TV broadcasting within 20 years.

Mr Hastings said: “Linear TV has been [on] an amazing 50 year run. Internet TV is starting to grow.

“Clearly, over the next 20 years, internet TV's going to replace linear TV.”

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