Netflix will have at least 130 million subscribers by the end of 2020, according to new research, with at least six percent of households around the world signed up by the start of the next decade.

In contrast its nearest rival in the subscription video on-demand space, Amazon Prime, will have nearly 50 million users.

The prediction from Ampere Analysis comes as the number of new customers taking a SVOD service hit 41 million at the end of last year, the highest figure yet.

By comparison, Pay TV net additions have been in decline since 2011, and will reach just over 23 million worldwide this year, the lowest figure for over 10 years.

Last week, another report claimed that telcos are “snapping at the heels” of the established Pay-TV operators in Western Europe.

Vodafone UK is the latest operator to partner with Netflix, with the announcement that it expanded a deal struck in 2014.

Further, Ampere said Netflix and Amazon are expected to ramp up the amount they spend on content.

The research house is forecasting that both companies combined will spend over $9 billion (€8bn) per year on acquired and original content by 2020.

However, they are focusing on different areas, meaning there will be little content duplication.

Netflix trends towards drama, action, crime and comedy, while Amazon Prime tends towards documentaries, family and kids movies and music.

The result of this is that consumers are increasingly happy to double-up on subscriptions, according to Ampere.

Across the UK, US, and Germany, almost half of Amazon Prime’s video user-base subscribe to both Netflix and Amazon. This is evidence, Ampere said, that it is content, not cost, that drives subscriptions priced at $10 or less per month.

Ed Aked, Analyst and author of the report, said: “The battle for new subscribers is going to be as calculated, tactical and unforgiving as any political drama.”

European Communications is hosting an OTT/Digital Content Strategy seminar on 8 October. Click here to see details of the free event, feat. EE, Telecom Italia & more

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