The cord-cutting revolution is huge. The sheer number of people who are opting to cut down or cut out their legacy pay TV subscriptions is staggering. Cable and satellite companies are feeling the pinch, and it’s not hard to see why: the number of people who using services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu could fill some of the world’s most populous countries and cities.
Of course, not all of the streaming giants form would-be countries and cities of the same size. In fact, the differences can be striking. Next time you think about Netflix and its competitors, you’ll have a frame of reference for just how large Netflix is relative to some of its newer challengers. Here are the streaming world’s most impressive services paired with their real-world sister countries and cities.
Netflix (109 million subscribers) and the Philippines (105 million people)
There was never any doubt as to which streaming service would have the largest “population.” Netflix dominates the streaming space, and its 109 million subscribers number more than the entire population of the Philippines. And it’s not as if the Philippines is small: it’s the 13th-largest country in the United Nations by population.
It’s worth noting that we’ve left HBO off of this. HBO reaches 130 million subscribers, but that includes people who get HBO through other services, including cable and satellite subscriptions. For the record, HBO’s viewing population rivals the populations of Japan (127 million people) and Mexico (129 million people).
Amazon (100 million Amazon Prime subscribers) and Egypt (98 million people)
To be fair to some of the other streaming services on this list, Amazon’s massively popular Amazon Prime service is much more than just a streaming service. Still, the 100-million-strong Amazon Prime userbase gives Amazon’s streaming service an impressive reach. Prime’s subscribers could populate a country the size of Egypt.
It’s worth noting, however, that not every Amazon Prime subscriber uses Amazon’s streaming features. By some reports, the actual size of Amazon’s U.S.-based streaming audience is 26 million. As for what the streaming audience for Amazon looks like abroad, that’s even tougher to know for sure.
Hulu (20 million subscribers) and Romania (19.8 million people) or Beijing, China (21.7 million people)
Hulu’s subscription video on demand (SVOD) service has 20 million subscribers in the United States. If it were a country, it would rival Romania in size. We’re also now into numbers that let us use cities as comps: the world’s third-biggest city, Beijing, is a little bit larger than Hulu’s United States user base.
Hulu also has a skinny bundle service, which it launched in 2017. That service includes Hulu’s SVOD offerings, but the more popular SVOD option can also be subscribed to on its own. For fun, we’ll include Hulu’s skinny bundle in its own section below.
Tubi TV (“millions” of active users) and Chicago, Illinois (2.7 million people)
Tubi TV is a private company, and its brass has been cagey about revealing exact subscriber figures. But CEO Farhab Massoudi says the service has “millions” of active users. That means more than one million, presumably, but we’ll be conservative and say it’s something like “a couple” or “a few” million, which makes Tubi TV’s best comp Chicago, Illinois.
Sling TV (2.2 million subscribers) and Houston, Texas (2.3 million people)
Sling TV has the highest announced subscriber count of any skinny bundle service. Since its debut in 2015, Sling TV has managed to accumulate an impressive 2.2 million subscribers. That’s roughly the population of Houston, Texas, which is Texas’ largest and the country’s fourth-largest city.
DirecTV Now (1.8 million subscribers) and Phoenix, Arizona (1.6 million people)
The second-largest skinny bundle by subscriber count, DirecTV Now has a user base that’s just a little bit bigger than the entire population of Phoenix, Arizona. If DirecTV Now’s subscriber base was a city, it would be the fifth-largest city in the United States.
Hulu with Live TV (nearly 1 million subscribers) and Austin, Texas (950,715 people)
Hulu has 20 million subscribers in the United States, but its newer skinny bundle option doesn’t have quite that big of a following. Just shy of 1 million people have opted for Hulu with Live TV, according to the most recent available figures. That’s about as many people as live in Texas’ hip capital city.
YouTube TV (more than 800,000 subscribers) and Charlotte, North Carolina (859,025 people)
YouTube TV’s subscriber population is larger than the population of Seattle, Washington (724,745 people) and, most likely, still smaller than that of San Franscisco, California (884,363). Charlotte seems like the best comp here, but keep in mind that YouTube TV debuted relatively recently and is still growing very, very fast.
PlayStation Vue (more than 500,000 subscribers) and Sacramento, California (501,901 people)
PlayStation Vue’s user base is noticeably smaller than that of Sling TV, which debuted the same year as PlayStation Vue. While Sling TV’s user base forms a population about three times the size of San Francisco’s, PlayStation Vue’s translates to just one Sacramento.
fuboTV (more than 100,000 subscribers) and Tuscaloosa, Alabama (100,287 people)
fuboTV is a private company and hasn’t released a whole lot of subscriber information lately. Their most recent update came when they hit the 100,000 subscriber mark. That’s about the population of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. fuboTV’s subscriber base would fill Tuscaloosa’s Bryant-Denny Stadium (capacity: 101,821), home of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
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