It Will Take a third of Your Lifetime to Catch Up on all the Shows

The Content from Subscription Streaming Services Now Adds up to 27 Years

Source: “Ready for Movies” by Jacob Lund. Licensed from Adobe Stock

I’ve taken a couple of shots at estimating total streaming content already. With the launch of Discovery + bringing thousands of additional episodes to the market, I thought that it’s time for an update.

This edition is more of a research project than data science. Wherever possible, I’d look for numbers from the streaming companies themselves. The trouble is that companies vary a great deal in their estimates. Some talk about the hours available on their service, some the shows, some the episodes, and some the movies. Some will freely promote their recent and upcoming shows but will say very little about their content library.

I signed up with The Movie Database to help me standardize my research data. You can read more about accessing TMD data here:

Using data from TMD, I was better able to quantify shows and episodes into hours.

The general rule of thumb is that half-hour shows are comedies, and hour-long shows are dramas. The Emmy’s still use this classification as their default categories for awards — unless a show petitions to change category.

The other trick is that Network shows are significantly shorter without ads than their original TV slot. A half-hour show is approximately 22 minutes and an hour show about 43 minutes.

Estimates of Streaming Content by Company in Years
# Here's the code to create this chart
sns.set(font_scale=2)
sns.catplot(x='Years', y='Streamer', kind="bar", data=df, dodge=False, height=10, aspect=1, palette='viridis_r')
plt.title('Streaming Content in Years', fontsize=32);

Research

Amazon Prime

Amazon has the most content. They are also the most cautious with releasing figures, so it is hard to gauge precisely how much content they have. The best I could do was an estimate here.

Netflix

Netflix also hasn’t spoken publically about their library for a while. I did find an estimate of 2.2 million minutes (or 36,000 hours) last year. They have been on a tear creating content but have also lost some licensed content — most notably “The Office”.

Hulu

Hulu’s website claims an impressive 70,000 episodes.

Discovery +

Discovery + launched with 55,000 episodes

Peacock

Peacock gives “access to more than 20,000 hours of on-demand movies and shows.”

CBS All Access

Has over 20,000 episodes, 150+ movies

HBO Max

Launched “with 10,000 hours of groundbreaking entertainment.”

Disney +

Disney’s website mentions “7,500 television episodes and 500 film titles.”

ESPN+

ESPN has more than 5,400 hours

Starz

Has 78 shows and over 550 movies.

Showtime

Has over 150 shows and 1,250 movies,

Apple TV+

Apple has 55 original shows (44 series and 11 films)

Streaming Years

A Third of a Lifetime

The total of 26.8 years is more than a third of the average US life expectancy of 78.7

References

Disney

Apple

CBS

HBO Max

Peacock

Discovery +

ESPN +

Hulu

Netflix

Andrew has an analytics background with over 20 years of experience in various industries, working with world-leading brands.

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