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Streaming Service

What is a streaming service?

A streaming service is an online provider of content delivered over the internet, which can be accessed via a connected TV, mobile phone or any other device equipped with an internet connection. Streaming services deliver linear scheduled channels, video on demand (VOD) or free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels.

How do streaming services earn revenue?

Streaming services can earn revenue through ad-supported content, a singular fee or a recurring fee. HBO Max, for instance, uses a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service to generate revenue. Streaming services that choose to charge a one-time or recurring fee often have ad-supported content, but it can also be ad-free.

Today, most streaming services use a mix of video monetization methods to maximize revenue. Peacock TV, for instance, would be considered an SVOD because some content can be accessed via a monthly fee only. However, the platform could also be considered an advertising-supported video on demand (AVOD) service since it has a free ad-supported tier, too.

What are the most popular streaming services?

To say the streaming world is growing would be an understatement. The landscape has seen an explosion in recent years, with viewers now able to choose from over 200 streaming services. Of these, the top 10 are:

  1. Netflix: 220M subscribers
  2. Amazon Prime: 175M subscribers
  3. Disney+: 137M subscribers
  4. HBO Max: 76MK subscribers
  5. Pluto TV: 68M subscribers
  6. Roku Channel: 63M subscribers
  7. Vudu: 69M subscribers
  8. Tubi: 51M subscribers
  9. Youtube Premium: 50M subscribers
  10. Hulu (without Live TV): 46M subscribers

With subscription fatigue on the rise, viewers are making the move to FAST channels — or streaming services that do not require a fee on the users part. The result? Services like Pluto TV and Tubi are steadily gaining popularity and making their way up the list.

Is connected TV (CTV) the same as streaming?

Contrary to popular belief, connected TV (CTV) and streaming are not interchangeable terms. Connected TV refers to a television — or device connected to a television — able to stream video content from the web. On the other hand, streaming refers to data or content that is transmitted through a continuous stream.

An iPhone, for instance, can be referred to as a streaming device. It would be wrong to call this device a connected TV, though, because it is not connected to a television. In other words, all connected TV devices stream video content — but not all streaming devices are connected TVs.

What streaming services can you find in an app store?

Virtually all streaming services offer a corresponding app users can download on their mobile phone, tablet or connected TV device. Mobile and tablet app stores include streaming apps such as Disney+, Hulu and Prime Video. CTV channel stores include Roku Channel Store and Apple TV’s tvOS App Store, among others.

CTV channel stores continue to grow — Roku Channel Store’s number of all apps increased by 27% YOY in 2021.

Different connected TV devices use different app stores. Samsung’s Smart TVs, for instance, use the Samsung TV Plus App. Certain Sony TVs leverage the Google Play Store. Roku TVs, as well as Insignia, Sharp and TCL, use the Roku Channel store.

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