The share of Americans watching Amazon and Hulu has soared in recent months, while other streaming services lag behind (AMZN)


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  • Amazon and Hulu are gaining ground with streaming viewers in the US, a new survey by RBC Capital Markets found.
  • Growing shares of people polled by RBC said they’d used Amazon or Hulu to watch TV or movies in recent years.
  • Netflix remains the dominant player in the survey, with the largest share of respondents using its platform.
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The share of people in the US using Amazon’s streaming service has exploded in the last two years, a new survey by RBC Capital Markets found.

Fifty-four percent of internet users said they used Amazon to watch movies or TV shows in the past 12 months, according a May 2019 survey by RBC with more than 1,500 respondents. That’s up 17 percentage points from when RBC surveyed users a year ago, and 22 percent points from two years ago.

Amazon rents and sells movies and TV shows online, streams them through its Prime Video subscription service, and bundles third-party subscription services like HBO Now and CBS All Access through Prime Video Channels.

“It is clear that the company with the biggest uptrend in results over the past two years is Amazon,” internet analyst Mark Mahaney wrote in the May 30 investor note that included the survey results. “Amazon has grown faster than Netflix over both the past year and over the past two years.”

The share of Netflix usage, by comparison, grew 8 percentage points in the last year, and 10 percentage points over the last two years. The streaming service still had the highest share of users overall, with 63% of respondents saying they’d used the service to watch TV or movies in the last 12 months. 

Hulu was the fastest-growing streaming service in the survey over the last year. Around 43% of respondents said they’d used the service in the last 12 months, up from 25% a year ago and a high-water mark for the platform.

Growth was more sluggish at other streaming services, like YouTube and HBO Now, according to the survey. YouTube still tied Amazon with the second-highest share of respondents — 54% — saying they’d used the service to watch TV and movies in the last 12 months. But growth from a year ago was smaller than Hulu’s and Amazon’s. YouTube, of course, also has short-form videos, vlogs, and other types of content that respondents may not consider TV and film.

HBO Now saw a meager bump in usage in May, with 21% of respondents saying they’d used the service, up from 18% a year ago. Mahaney said that may have been from the final season of “Game of Thrones,” which aired from mid-April to May in the US. 

“We continue to believe that Amazon likely poses one of the bigger long-term risks to Netflix,” Mahaney wrote, “and these results are proving it.”

Even with competition from Amazon and Hulu, and upcoming streaming players like Disney, Apple, and WarnerMedia, Mahaney remains bullish on Netflix. He wrote that the stock, worth around $350 on May 31, could double again within three years to $475-$750.

SEE ALSO: Amazon’s head of TV and movie marketing details the studio’s turnaround effort under Jennifer Salke and its push to become more than a ‘supermarket of content’

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