swiss video streaming study 2022
Video Streaming

Disney, Tiktok, and Sky See Major Growth

May 2, 2022 - Ralf Beyeler

Even after the highs brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, streaming service providers have continued to hugely expand their Swiss customer bases. Competitors of Neflix, in particular, are experiencing massive growth. But even market leader Netflix has been able to expand.

Switzerland is a lucrative market for streaming service providers. A study shows that nearly all major video streaming platforms were able to grow their customer bases in Switzerland over the past year. A high 89 percent of participants in a survey of 1500 residents say that they use at least one video streaming service. The number of streaming users has increased slightly, even as the effects of the pandemic – from which streaming services profited immensely – have begun to subside over the past year.

Nearly everyone uses Youtube

Youtube is, by far, the most popular video streaming platform in Switzerland. Four out of five residents use Google’s streaming service to watch videos. “The fact that Youtube can be used without paying fees is likely the main reason for its popularity,” explains telecom expert Ralf Beyeler from “Very few people in Switzerland use Youtube’s paid services.” Only four percent of participants pay for YouTube Premium.

Among paid streaming services, Netflix remains the market leader by a huge margin: 58 percent of participants use Netflix. Diney Plus is the closest runner up, with 22 percent using this service.

Netflix competitors gain ground

A comparison with last year (table 1) shows that Disney Plus and streaming offers from Sky in particular have experienced massive growth over the past year. Disney Plus grew its user base from 13 to 22 percent – an increase of 70 percent. Sky Show was able to nearly double its number of users. Social media platform Tiktok once again saw its user base expand over the previous year.

“Smaller players in the market still have a lot of growth potential,” believes Beyeler. The reason for this is that their untapped bases of potential customers are bigger. Another reason is that a service like Netflix, which already has a huge number of customers, must gain far more new customers to grow by one percent.

In spite of this, Netflix was able to grow its Swiss user base from 54 to 58 percent – a tidy increase of nearly 10 percent. That should come as a boon to a company which just recently recorded the first major negative growth in its worldwide customer base and is expected to see further setbacks. “Swiss consumers are certainly not a market which Netflix has to be concerned about losing at this point,” says Beyeler.

Table 1: Swiss video streaming users by platform

Streaming service 2022 2021
Youtube 79% 75%
Netflix 58% 54%
Tiktok 22% 13%
Disney Plus 22% 13%
Amazon Prime Video 15% 10%
Twitch* 15%  
Apple TV Plus 11% 12%
Swisscom Blue Max 11% 9%
Swisscom Blue Sport 11% 9%
Sky Sports 10% 6%
Google Play 8% 6%
Sky Show 8% 4%
Dazn 6% 4%
Netzkino 6% 4%
Others 15% 20%

*Twitch was not included in the 2021 streaming survey.

Apple stagnates

The only relatively large streaming service whose Swiss user base has not grown over the past year is Apple TV Plus. 11 percent of participants said that they use this service, compared to around 12 percent in last year’s survey.

That means Amazon Prime Video has now overtaken Apple’s streaming service in Switzerland. In 2021, Apple TV Plus had slightly more users than Amazon’s streaming platform. “Apparently, Apple’s offer does not resonate with consumers in the same way as its competitors – and that in spite of Apple being one of the most affordable streaming services in Switzerland,” observes Beyeler. Experts see a possible explanation for this in the smaller selection of movies, series, and documentaries available on Apple TV Plus, compared to its competitors.

2.5 million Netflix subscriptions

The survey not only shows how many people in Switzerland use individual streaming services, but also how many of them pay for these services (table 2). Here too, Netflix is clearly in the lead: 40 percent of participants said that they pay for a Netflix subscription themselves. For the sake of comparison, 13 percent pay for Disney Plus, and 7 percent pay for Amazon Prime Video.

Streaming service providers generally do not publish information about active subscriptions in Switzerland. The survey provides a basis on which to estimate how many customers individual streaming companies have in Switzerland. These estimates currently point to 2.5 million Netflix subscriptions and 830,000 paid Disney Plus subscriptions.

Table 2: Paying customers

Streaming service Paying customers Percentage of total population
Netflix 2,540,000 40%
Disney Plus 830,000 13%
Amazon Prime Video 440,000 7%
Swisscom Blue Sport 380,000 6%
Swisscom Blue Max 320,000 5%
Sky Sports 320,000 5%
Youtube 250,000 4%
Apple TV Plus 250,000 4%
Sky Show 250,000 4%
Twitch 130,000 2%
Google Play 130,000 2%
Dazn 130,000 2%
Tiktok Less than 100,000 1%
Netzkino Less than 100,000 1%
Others 130,000 2%


Younger people stream, older people pay

In Switzerland, streaming is particularly popular among young people. Platforms like Youtube, Netflix, Tiktok, Disney Plus, and Twitch are more popular among survey participants aged 18 to 25 than with older adults. Amazon Prime Video, Swisscom Blue Sport, and Google Play, on the other hand, are somewhat more widely used in the 26 to 49 year age group. Consumers between the ages of 50 and 74 also use streaming services, but generally less than those in other age groups.

Older people are less likely to use streaming, but those who do are more likely to pay for it in many cases. For example, nearly all Sky Show customers between the ages of 50- and 74-years old pay for their subscriptions themselves. “Older people are often better able to afford to pay for subscriptions, and some of them then give their younger relatives or acquaintances free access to their paid subscriptions,” believes Beyeler.

Market leader Netflix is an exception: Young adults are not only more likely to use Netflix than people in other age groups, but consumers between the ages of 18 and 25 are also more likely to pay for subscriptions.  

The “Rösti-Graben” is visible in streaming use as well

The number of people who use and pay for streaming services is much smaller in French-speaking Switzerland than in German-speaking Switzerland. Paid subscriptions from Sky, in particular, are more common in German-speaking regions. Sky Sports and Sky Show are generally more popular in German-speaking Switzerland than in the Romandy. Amazon Prime Video, on the other hand, is somewhat more popular in French-speaking Switzerland, and users there are more likely to have paid subscriptions. Netflix and Tiktok are also more widely used in French-speaking Switzerland.

Table 3: Users by region

Streaming service German-speaking regions French-speaking regions
Youtube 79% 79%
Netflix 57% 61%
Tiktok 21% 27%
Disney Plus 22% 23%
Amazon Prime Video 13% 18%
Twitch 14% 15%
Apple TV Plus 11% 11%
Swisscom Blue Max 11% 10%
Swisscom Blue Sport 10% 12%
Sky Sports 11% 7%
Google Play 8% 10%
Sky Show 9% 5%
Dazn 7% 5%
Netzkino 7% 4%
Others 15% 16%


Multiple paid subscriptions uncommon

Paid streaming service providers aim to attract customers with exclusive content. Netflix competitors hope that their exclusive content can lure viewers away from the market leader, or at least encourage users to subscribe to their services as well. But an evaluation of the five conventional streaming services Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV Plus, and Sky Show, shows that only a few Swiss consumers have multiple paid subscriptions: 29 percent of participants pay for just one of the five streaming platforms; 11 percent have two paid subscriptions; and 3 percent pay for three subscriptions. Hardly any consumers have more than three paid video streaming subscriptions.

Sports streaming services remain niche

In addition to conventional streaming services which offer a palette of movies, series, and documentaries, there are also services which focus on live sports broadcasts. Although service providers pay large amounts of money for the rights to broadcast sports events, these services are notably less popular than movie and series platforms. Only 17 percent of survey participants use at least one of the three sports streaming services included in the survey.

The most popular of these is Blue Sport, Swisscom’s sports streaming service: 11 percent of consumers use this service. It is followed by Sky Sports and Swisscom Blue Sport, each used by 10 percent of consumers. All three services have grown their customer bases over the past year, but still have relatively few customers. Only a minority of consumers use multiple paid sports streaming services. Less than 3 percent say that they pay for sports streaming subscriptions. Only two of the 1500 survey participants have paid subscriptions from all three major sports streaming services.

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Expert Ralf Beyeler
Ralf Beyeler is the telecom expert at and also covers other areas of personal finance.