Top Streaming Apps August 2023: Netflix Crackdown Pays Off

Netflix led the pack in July and its crackdown on password sharing is paying dividends. Despite justified criticism, HBO’s Max is off to a good start. Finally, Plex is a name to keep an eye on going forward.

Welcome to the first edition of our monthly streaming app roundup! Each month we’ll cover trends among the top iOS and Android streaming apps available on the Apple App Store and Google Play. 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 and Android Downloads

To kick things off, let’s look at the top streaming apps globally heading into the month of August: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Max, Paramount+, Hulu, Peacock TV, and Plex.

These standings were compiled by looking at the total number of downloads in the period between July 2, 2023 and August 1, 2023.

First up…

iOS Downloads: July 2, 2023 - August 1, 2023

Unsurprisingly, Netflix performed best this month, generating 13,684,012 downloads on the Apple App Store. Here’s the rest of the list:

  • Amazon Prime Video: 8,354,397 downloads
  • Disney+: 5,826,931 downloads
  • Max: 3,472,151 downloads
  • Paramount+: 1,170,311 downloads
  • Hulu: 870,540 downloads
  • Peacock TV: 776,183 downloads
  • Plex: 675,530 downloads

Android Downloads: July 2, 2023 - August 1, 2023

As with the iOS apps, the Android version of Netflix is far and away the leader of the pack. It pulled in a massive 27,525,986 downloads — more than double the next closest streaming app. Check out the rest of the list:

  • Amazon Prime Video: 9,358,901 downloads
  • Disney+: 5,710,814 downloads
  • Max: 2,249,919 downloads
  • Plex: 1,183,224 downloads
  • Paramount+: 1,111,369 downloads
  • Hulu: 468,766 downloads
  • Peacock TV: 332,573 downloads

Well played, Netflix: password sharing crackdown pays off

Remember the whole dustup around Netflix cracking down on password sharing? We wrote about it when it was first announced in 2022, but the initiative began in earnest over the last month.

The results? Well, see for yourself. Here are daily downloads for the iOS and Android versions of the app:

Solid numbers all around. The two apps have been downloaded 41,209,998 times since July 2nd.

Interestingly, the massive spike on July 19th coincides quite nicely with a spate of new articles published on the topic of password sharing.

Now let’s look at monthly active users (MAU) for the Android version of the app:

Things have been trending in an upward direction since February. In June of 2023, 238,959,640 million people used the Android app — up from 194,948,290 in February.

Max failure to launch? Not so fast, my friend!

As the very-online world obsesses over one major tech rebrand, it’s worth reflecting on the last one that ruffled feathers.

Indeed, HBO took a lot of heat when they announced they were dropping the ‘HBO’ from HBO Max. Critics of the move pointed out that Max sounded too much like sister network Cinemax; and that by dropping HBO from the name entirely they were creating separation from one of the most respected brands in entertainment.

However, the biggest criticism was that the rebrand came with an entirely new mobile app. This, said critics, would confuse users who wouldn’t be able to distinguish between the two apps… or something like that.

Did the critics have a point? Maybe in the short run. But the numbers already look pretty solid for the new app. Not only has it been downloaded 15,503,396 times since its launch in May, it was also the fourth most downloaded streaming app over the last month, behind just Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+.

Say what you will, but that’s elite company. Other streaming apps would kill for that kind of traction.

What the heck is Plex?

Finally, we turn to Plex, the ad-supported VOD streaming service with free-to-stream movies and live TV channels. It offers content from partners like Warner Bros. Television Studios, MGM, Lionsgate, and more.

While Plex has been around since 2008, the streaming service was released in 2019, making it a relative newcomer to the streaming wars. Nevertheless, it’s made up for lost time. As noted above, in the month of July it was the 5th most downloaded Android streaming app and the 8th most downloaded iOS streaming app.

And things look to be trending in the right direction. Here are MAUs for the Android version of Plex beginning in January 2023:

Not too shabby!

Final Thoughts

Netflix still leads the pack and its crackdown on password sharing is already paying dividends.

While Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ are permanent fixtures in the top five, they’re both a good distance away from matching Netflix pound-for-pound.

Despite skepticism from critics, Max is off to a good start. Three months into the rebrand, the new HBO product has maintained its spot at the proverbial “big boy table.”

Finally, Plex is a name to keep an eye on. It lacks the brand recognition of other major players, but its unique offering helps to differentiate it. Moreover, its performance over the last few months is highly encouraging.

Going forward, we’ll be keeping an eye on changes in this space. So, be sure to keep an eye out for future iterations of our streaming app roundup!

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