Streaming Facts
Streaming Facts

65 Interesting Streaming Facts

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published June 24, 2020
  • The rapid increase in digital streaming that occurred in the first decades of the 21st century did more to change the way Americans make and watch media programming than any other technological advancement in television history.[8]
  • Netflix's introduction of streaming services started a media revolution, leading to huge changes in cable, satellite, and television broadcasting.[8]
  • CBS, Disney, and Starz Entertainment were among the first companies to sign a deal with Netflix to provide television content for online streaming.[8]
  • Netflix was the first major streaming service to encourage “binge watching,” by purposely releasing entire seasons of a given program at the same time.[8]
  • Seven years after they first offered subscriptions to their streaming service, Netflix had gained 36 million subscribers in the United States alone.[8]
  • The rise of streaming services has resulted in the abandonment of long-held television production practices, such as regular commercial breaks and uniform-length episodes.[8]
  • Lilyhammer, a 2012 drama about the mob, was the first original TV series to have a direct-to-Netflix release.[8]
  • In 2013, one year after they began releasing original content on their streaming service, Netflix-owned productions received a total of 14 Emmy nominations.[8]
  • Within 18 months of the introduction of Netflix’s television streaming services, Amazon, Hulu, and NBC all followed suit by creating their own streaming subscriptions.[8]
  • Netflix introduced online streaming to the masses in 2007. Their original service offered access to 1,000 older movie titles through a computer app.[8]
  • Streaming Internet Broadband
    Streaming chews through the bandwidth
  • By 2014, Netflix streaming was responsible for 35% of broadband traffic at peak times.[8]
  • By the end of 2018, Netflix had released around 1,000 original titles through their streaming service.[6]
  • Netflix, which is responsible for a media-programming revolution due to its introduction of online streaming, has recently been named the 6th most innovative company in the world.[12]
  • Google purchased YouTube in 2006, earning a profit of $400 million for each of its three founders.[11]
  • Three million of Netflix’s subscribers are still paying for access to Netflix’s DVD rental service; 50 times that many pay for digital streaming.[20]
  • Thanks largely to their domestic and international streaming services, Netflix is worth around $125 billion.[20]
  • In 2019, the Criterion Collection, a company that specializes in the DVD re-production of cinema masterpieces, launched an online channel that allows subscribers to stream movies from their huge collection of international films.[21]
  • Eight million people in India subscribed to Disney’s streaming channel in the very first week after it became available in their country.[2]
  • Unlike television networks and cable channels, online streaming services do not have to release ratings and viewer numbers because they do not rely on advertisement revenue. Netflix, the industry’s leader, is especially notorious for keeping viewer numbers secret.[10]
  • According to a recent study, almost 50% of digital streamers between the ages of 16 to 24 binge-watch every time they watch a television program.[1]
  • Binge Watching
    Streaming is swiftly becoming the new normal for watching television and movies

  • By 2017, Netflix reported that 8.4 million of their streaming subscribers have binge-watched at least one program during their membership.[13]
  • The first YouTube channel to reach 100 million subscribers belonged to the Bollywood music producers T-Series.[11]
  • In 2019, Netflix accounted for 31% of all television streaming; YouTube was the second-most popular, at 21%, and Hulu came in third with 12%.[4]
  • One of the first original series to be released for streaming by Netflix, House of Cards, was also one of their most popular of all time, until allegations of sexual misconduct by lead star Kevin Spacey resulted in his removal from the cast.[17]
  • In a 2019 US survey, 91% of respondents said they pay for at least one video streaming subscription, and 63% pay for at least one audio service.[4]
  • It is estimated that, in a single year, there were over 78 billion visits to streaming piracy sites.[16]
  • TV versus Streaming
    Classic TV is still king... for now
  • According to the Nielsen ratings company, 19% of TV-watching time in America is spent on streaming, but traditional TV is still the most watched.[4]
  • In 2019, 9% of all new television programs were released exclusively on a streaming service.[4]
  • Seventy-three percent of American adults say they regularly stream videos on YouTube.[19]
  • Less than 10 years after introducing their digital streaming services, Netflix had subscribers in over 190 countries.[6]
  • According to hardcore pornography website Pornhub, visitors to their site alone streamed over 5 billion hours of porn in 2018.[7]
  • More than 71 million people watched the premier episode of the final season of Game of Thrones within 24 hours of its release.[16]
  • Although it is hard to know for certain, it has been estimated that over 50% of all millennials make use of illegal streaming in a given month.[16]
  • Some of the most popular Netflix television series for streaming include 13 Reasons Why, Fuller House, Orange Is the New Black, BoJack Horseman, and Stranger Things.[17]
  • In an average week, YouTube channel owners collectively upload as much as 50,000 hours of content.[19]
  • Only a small number of all videos streaming on YouTube have content directed towards an English-speaking audience.[19]
  • Canada, the United States, Denmark, Finland, and Norway are home to the largest populations of digital streaming binge-watchers in the world.[13]
  • Of videos uploaded to YouTube in an average week, there are 3 videos related to video games for every video about some other topic.[19]
  • A study of the way YouTube recommends new content to its viewers found that the algorithm being used is designed to suggest longer and longer videos to the viewer over time.[19]
  • In a given month, YouTube has more than 2 billion users streaming hundreds of millions of hours of content every day.[11]
  • YouTube originally started as a dating service site; when the site didn’t work out, the idea to have women upload videos of themselves morphed into a site for free video-sharing.[11]
  • The first video to be streamed on YouTube was called Me at the Zoo and was uploaded in 2005 by co-founder Jawed Karim.[11]
  • Music Streaming Facts
    Music streaming services mean you have an entire music library in your pocket
  • In 2019, 64% of American adults used their smartphones to stream audio content.[4]
  • The first YouTube video to receive a million views, a Nike ad featuring Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho, was streamed for the millionth time only five months after the site was launched.[11]
  • The music streaming service Spotify has around 220 million users.[9]
  • The current CEO of Google decided to try to acquire YouTube after seeing a viral video featuring two young Chinese boys lip-sync to a Backstreet Boys song.[11]
  • One of the first YouTube videos to go viral features a toddler named Charlie biting his brother’s finger, uploaded in 2007.[11]
  • After the advent of digital streaming, the production of new music tripled in only ten years.[14]
  • The first YouTube video to achieve 1 billion views was South Korean pop star PSY’s “Gangnam Style” in 2010. To this day, it is one of YouTube’s top ten most-watched videos.[11]
  • In a 2012 publicity stunt, comedian Mark Malkoff set himself the challenge of streaming as many Netflix movies as he could in a single month, in an attempt to get the most out of his monthly subscription payment. Malkoff succeeded in watching a total of 252, thus averaging 3 cents per movie.[18]
  • Due to the rise of digital streaming technology, many musicians and producers of video content are now able to find an audience for their works without turning to the large businesses and firms that once dominated the entertainment industry.[14]
  • COVID-19 Streaming
    Pandemics are good news for streaming services
  • Digital streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and HBO all experienced massive increases in subscriber numbers as a result of the worldwide COVID-19 quarantines of 2020.[2]
  • Netflix broke a previously held standard in the television industry when it chose to pay to produce an entire season of its streaming hit House of Cards without first airing a pilot. Netflix’s business officers argued that, due to their subscription platform, they already had the audience they needed for the program.[14]
  • The popular music streaming service Spotify was originally funded through advertisements between songs; currently, Spotify uses the same basic subscription model for funding as most video streaming services.[9]
  • When Spotify was first founded, it allowed users to stream unlicensed songs that Spotify had downloaded. It was only after they began to develop a customer base that Spotify was able to offer licensed songs for streaming.[9]
  • The three largest providers of music streaming are Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora.[9]
  • Musicians whose music is featured on streaming services are paid per stream.[9]
  • New video streaming service Plex advertises itself as a solution to the growing variety of streaming services by connecting users with a server that will combine the server’s members’ content into one app. However, because any member can load any files onto their server, many people have expressed concerns that the company supports digital piracy.[15]
  • Family Streaming Movie
    Disney Plus has been an instant success
  • It took Disney Plus less than five months to outstrip Hulu in number of subscribers after launching their streaming channel; Disney hit 50 million compared to Hulu’s 30.[2]
  • Due to the rise of digital music, record label companies saw a drastic reversal in their profits, starting with the advent of Napster in 1999. It has only been in recent years that the popularity of streaming services like Pandora and Spotify has begun to allow some profits to filter back to the record labels.[9]
  • In order to stream videos, an internet connection needs at least 2 MB/s, although HD and other resolutions require more.[3]
  • To avoid pauses and buffering, Netflix automatically reduces the picture quality of a video that is being streamed if it senses that the internet connection is slow.[3]
  • Although most urban and suburban areas have access to the internet speeds that are required for streaming videos, subscribers in very rural areas may have difficulty streaming videos without interruption.[3]
  • The video streaming service Vudu is owned by Walmart. Rather than pay for a subscription to access a video library, Vudu’s clients purchase digital content that then belongs to their own streaming library.[5]
  • As of April 2020, Netflix has 183 million subscribers worldwide. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 16 million new subscribers joined the giant streaming service.[22]

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