Top 10 Most Popular Subscription Streaming Services

The same way video killed the radio star, the internet is killing the TV star right now. And one of the main reasons for this: Online streaming. It is widely believed that online streams are only a few years away from completely replacing traditional television. In the United States, a majority already deems television “irrelevant”. So since streaming is clearly the future, it is no surprise that the streaming industry is now worth several billion dollars.

The following lists the 10 most popular subscription streaming services in the world right now by the number of (paying) subscribers.

The 10 Most Popular Subscription Streaming Services in the World 2022

most popular streaming services in the world


1. Netflix

Netflix most popular streaming service in the world

Netflix originally was started in 1997 by American entrepreneurs Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph as a DVD rental store. In fact, it became the world’s first online DVD rental store. But from 2007 on, Netflix started offering movies and series as streams. Now, with a total of around 225 million subscribers worldwide, the California-based company is the most popular subscription streaming service in the world. But Netflix is more than just a streaming service. It now also owns its own studios and is producing many movies and series itself.


2. Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon of course is primarily known as the world’s largest online store. But Amazon as a company is involved in far more business branches these days. Through Prime Video, the company offers a video streaming service. Prime Video was originally started in 2006 as “Amazon Unbox” and then renamed “Amazon Instant Video”. In 2011 it then got its current name. Prime Video now has around 205 million subscribers worldwide. Since 2016, Amazon’s streaming service has also started to offer original content which is produced at Amazon’s own film studio.


3. Spotify

Spotify - most popular muisc streaming service in the world

Spotify is the world’s most popular music subscription streaming service. Spotify was started by Swedish entrepreneurs Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. The streaming service truly changed the music industry. Just like Netflix moved the product “film” from the DVD to the internet, Spotify practically moved the product “music” from the CD to the internet. Spotify has around 180 million subscribers worldwide and is increasingly also involved in the podcast business.


4. Disney+

The world’s largest entertainment company, The Walt Disney Company, now also offers its own streaming service. Subscribers can stream both original and non-original content. The streaming is especially, though not exclusively, targeted at children. Around 130 million people are subscribed to Disney+.


5. HBO Max

HBO (Home Box Office) is known for its original series, many of which belong to the most critically acclaimed and popular series of all time. As viewership with the start of the 21st Century was increasingly moving towards the internet, HBO couldn’t ignore this development and, In 2020, implemented its streaming service “HBO Go”. In the U.S. and Europe, HBO Go has since been rebranded to “HBO Max”. HBO Max now collectively has 85 million subscribers globally.



6. Apple Music

apple music - second most popular music service

Apple Music was started in 2015 and represents the music streaming service of American tech giant Apple. Apple’s former and legendary CEO Steve Jobs always opposed the idea of a subscription music streaming service, despite the success of Spotify. But after his death in 2011, the new Apple leadership could no longer ignore the stark shift of music toward the internet. Interestingly, Apple made the service available even to non-iOS and non-Mac users. Apple Music now has around 80 million subscribers worldwide.


7. Amazon Music

The world’s largest online retailer also has its own streaming service dedicated to music and podcasts. Launched in 2007, Amazon Music now has around 55 million paying subscribers.


8. YouTube Music

The world’s most popular video-sharing platform offers its users a premium service to enjoy music videos without ads. Around 50 million people have taken advantage of it and are subscribed to the ad-free YouTube experience.


9. Hulu

Another streaming service that is (majority) owned by the Walt Disney Company. Hulu offers its subscribers both original and non-original series and films. Around 45 million people are subscribers to Hulu.


10. Sirius XM

Radio may not be as popular as it used to be in its classic format. But Sirius XM proves that radio still has a place in today’s entertainment environment in a streaming format. The around 35 million subscribers to Sirius XM’s online radio streaming service are a testament to that.


The 10 Most Popular Subscription Streaming Services in the World

(as of 2022)

Top 10 Most Popular Subscription Streaming Services in the World:
1. NETFLIX
~ 225 million subscribers worldwide
2. PRIME VIDEO
~ 205 million subscribers worldwide
3. SPOTIFY
~ 180 million subscribers worldwide
4. DISNEY+
~ 130 million subscribers worldwide
5. HBO MAX
~ 85 million subscribers worldwide
6. APPLE MUSIC
~ 80 million subscribers worldwide
7. AMAZON MUSIC
~ 55 million subscribers worldwide
8. YOUTUBE MUSIC
~ 50 million subscribers worldwide
9. HULU
~ 45 million subscribers worldwide
10. SIRIUS XM
~ 35 million subscribers worldwide

The 10 most popular streaming services in the world by the number of worldwide subscribers. Only streaming services with paid subscription plans are counted in this ranking.


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