Streaming Wars: Prime Video Was October’s Biggest Winner

Streaming app roundup: Amazon Prime Video was the biggest winner in October. HBO has a Max dilemma. It’s time to take ad-supported streaming seriously. Also, the latest trends for Netflix, YouTube TV, Hulu, Disney+, Paramount+, Peacock TV, Pluto TV, Tubi, Plex, and Freevee.

Time for the November 2023 edition of our monthly streaming app roundup! Each month, we cover trends among the top iOS, Android, and Roku streaming apps available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Roku Channel Store. Come here for monthly updates on the top performing apps, download trends, monthly active user (MAU) insights, and more!

Here’s what we covered this month (click the links to jump to the corresponding section):

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Current Standings: iOS, Android, and Roku

Let’s kick things off by identifying the top streaming apps globally heading into the month of November. We’ve ranked the top 12 apps, including Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube TV, Hulu, Disney+, Max, Paramount+, Peacock TV, Pluto TV, Tubi, Plex, and Freevee

For the iOS and Android rankings, we compiled the standings by looking at the total number of downloads in September 2023 and October 2023. For the Roku rankings, we used total historical app ratings as a proxy for app popularity.

With that, let’s look at the rankings…

iOS Downloads: September 2023 and October 2023

We’ve identified the top iOS streaming apps based on downloads. The light blue line represents downloads in October, while the dark blue line represents downloads in September.

As you can see Netflix leads the way by a substantial margin. It was downloaded 12,494,178 times in October and 12,445,525 times in September.

In addition, while Max, Peacock TV, Hulu, Tubi, and Plex also grew their downloads month-over-month, Prime Video was the biggest winner, increasing downloads from 6,936,777 in September to 8,399,081 in October.

Here are the complete rankings:

  • Netflix: 12,494,178 downloads (12,445,525 in September)
  • Amazon Prime Video: 8,399,081 downloads (6,936,777 in September)
  • Disney+: 7,378,115 downloads (8,303,336 in September)
  • Max: 3,492,952 downloads (3,396,771 in September)
  • Paramount+: 1,991,991 downloads (2,111,902 in September)
  • Peacock TV: 1,571,838 downloads (1,105,145 in September)
  • Pluto TV: 1,428,719 downloads (1,431,628 in September)
  • Hulu: 992,371 downloads (935,012 in September)
  • Tubi: 795,967 downloads (785,192 in September)
  • YouTube TV: 722,641 downloads (1,572,428 in September)
  • Plex: 652,841 downloads (629,471 in September)
  • Amazon Freevee: 281,492 downloads (285,912 in September)

Android Downloads: September 2023 and October 2023

As with the iOS rankings, Netflix once again leads the way with 23,928,145 October downloads and 25,380,579 September downloads.

However, generally speaking, the Android apps had a rougher go of it in October than the iOS apps. Just five of the twelve apps (Pluto TV, Paramount+, Tubi, Peacock TV, and Hulu) increased their downloads month-over-month. 

Check out the complete numbers:

  • Netflix: 23,928,145 downloads (25,380,579 in September)
  • YouTube TV: 7,672,092 downloads (9,765,507 in September)
  • Disney+: 6,874,696 downloads (10,119,633 in September)
  • Amazon Prime Video: 6,791,881 downloads (7,015,949 in September)
  • Pluto TV: 4,614,607 downloads (4,228,874 in September)
  • Paramount+: 2,288,521 downloads (1,851,440 in September)
  • Tubi: 2,249,374 downloads (2,097,461 in September)
  • Plex: 1,462,029 downloads (1,589,294 in September)
  • Max: 1,407,440 downloads (1,438,489 in September)
  • Peacock TV: 819,403 downloads (785,060 in September)
  • Hulu: 668,061 downloads (641,958 in September)
  • Amazon Freevee: 299,025 downloads (301,999 in September)

Roku Ratings: All-Time

Now let’s take a look at how these apps performed on the Roku Channel Store. As noted above, these rankings use total user ratings as a proxy downloads.

Again, Netflix leads the way by a country mile with 3,758,095 ratings, which is more than three times as many as Hulu. See here:

  • Netflix: 3,758,095 ratings
  • Hulu: 1,036,898 ratings
  • Amazon Prime Video: 920,918 ratings
  • Disney+: 449,426 ratings
  • Max: 383,380 ratings
  • Tubi: 308,248 ratings
  • Paramount+: 244,921 ratings
  • Pluto TV: 232,645 ratings
  • YouTube TV: 219,246 ratings
  • Peacock TV: 167,051 ratings
  • Plex: 143,027 ratings
  • Amazon Freevee: 33,263 ratings

Amazon Prime Video Was the Biggest Winner in October

October wasn’t a particularly strong month for the top streaming apps. All told, very few saw marked improvements on their September numbers. However, Amazon Prime Video was a noticeable outlier. While the Android version saw a modest decline month-over-month, the iOS version was downloaded 1.4 million more times in October than in September. This makes it by far the biggest winner among all streaming apps for the month of October.

HBO’s Max Dilemma

So, it’s worth pointing out that HBO might have a problem on its hands. This past May, HBO rebranded the HBO Max streaming service as Max. While we were initially optimistic about this move, we may need to re-evaluate our position. Indeed, today — almost six months after Max’s launch — the original app continues to outperform the new app on a regular basis:

As you can see, the iOS and Android versions of the old HBO Max app have been downloaded more than the new Max app. In addition, while Max is shrinking, download trends are more stable for the original app.

Making matters even more complex, HBO Max usage appears to be substantially higher than Max usage. Check it out, here are HBO Max’s global monthly active users over the past three months:

And here are global MAUs for the Android version of Max:

While usage is trending downwards for the original app, it still boasts 15 times more MAUs than the new app.

In any case, Max is performing quite well. The problem is, it’s not clear that the rebrand has been much of a success. So, it’ll be interesting to see if HBO decides to pull the plug on either of these apps, or if it decides to keep muddling along with both.

It’s Time to Take Ad-Supported Streaming Seriously

Finally, we turn to the ad-supported streaming apps. Pluto TV, Tubi, Plex, and Amazon Freevee have combined for a whopping 23,133,885 downloads over the past two months. That’s 11.3% of the 204,432,802 downloads generated by the combined top 12.

Pluto TV has been particularly impressive, tallying 11,703,828 downloads over the past two months. While it still trails the top dogs (Netflix, Amazon, etc.), it’ll be interesting to see how it performs in the months ahead, as more and more users begin to look for alternatives to expensive subscription platforms.

Final Thoughts

So here’s the scoop: Netflix still leads the pack, but Amazon Prime Video was the biggest winner in October and ad-supported offerings continue to chip away at the subscription model.

Going forward, we’ll be monitoring changes in this space. So, be on the lookout for future iterations of our streaming app roundup!

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