Streaming services and tech giants compared to countries
From the crazy escapism of Tiger King and the hate-watching of Emily in Paris, to impulsive Amazon purchases and Googling what a ‘variant’ is, streaming services and tech brands have been our best (and closest) friends throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The biggest tech companies have only become bigger, and streaming services grew manifold during the pandemic, so we decided to pull all this together to see just how big they actually are...
Keep reading to find out how these streaming services and tech giants compare to each country in terms of wealth and size.
Netflix would be bigger than Russia
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 10 years, Netflix is unequivocally the largest and most well-known streaming service on the internet right now. It now offers so many films and TV shows that choosing one to watch is often actively difficult, especially when you consider the varying content on different countries’ servers. When looked at in this way, it would seem correct that Netflix would be the largest country of all the ‘Streaming States’ - a phrase coined by us, just now...
When compared to the populations of the 30 largest countries, Netflix, with a huge 203,700,000 subscribers, places 8th, putting it comfortably above Bangladesh (164,689,383 people), Russia (145,934,462 people), and Mexico (128,932,753 people). A sizable country indeed.
Amazon Prime Video would be the 10th biggest country in the world
A tech giant at this point, Amazon has put its signature mark all over the streaming service industry. As the second largest streaming service in the world, with 150,000,000 current subscriptions, Amazon Prime Video is hot on Netflix’ tail. But as a Streaming State, how does it compare to our top 30 countries?
Landing at a respectable 10th on the largest country league table, Amazon Prime Video is only two spots behind Netflix. It’s also larger than Russia and Mexico, and is around 23,500,000 people larger than Japan (126,476,461 people). Good going, Amazon.
Spotify is the largest music streaming platform in the world
Not too far behind Amazon Prime Video sits Spotify. With 144,000,000 subscribers, the only country you’ll find to separate the two is Russia, so it’s safe to say that Spotify isn’t doing too badly. The music streaming site’s numbers are leaps and bounds ahead of its competitors, and you can guarantee that there will be some excellent DJs residing in our Spotify Streaming State... Sign us up.
China’s largest streaming services rank in 4th and 5th place
Tencent Video, China’s most popular film and TV streaming service, is number four in the ranking of streaming services in the world. While China itself has the biggest population of any country (a whopping 1,439,323,776 people) it seems only 120,000,000 of its inhabitants are Tencent Video subscribers. This number is reported to be growing by 12% year on year, so there’s definitely a chance that it will climb its way up the rankings in no time.
Another huge China-based streaming platform is iQIYI, which had 119,000,000 subscribers in 2020, making it the 5th largest streaming service. The numbers seem to be going down gradually for this service, with 105,000,000 subscribers registered in March 2021, but even with this decrease, the platform’s population ranks higher than more than 30 countries world-wide.
When compared to the top 30 largest countries, Tencent Video is 15th, while iQIYI (according to its 2020 statistics) is one slot behind at 16th.
Disney+ is the 6th biggest streaming service after only two years
Despite only opening its metaphorical doors in November 2019, Disney+ has already shot up the streaming service rankings. Its 94,900,000 subscriber count means that when turned into a Streaming State, its population would be greater than the Democratic Republic of Congo, Turkey, Iran, Germany, and Thailand, all of which have populations of under 90,000,000. Considering that Thailand was founded in 1238, 783 years ago, Disney+ has done a pretty speedy job, to say the least.
Apple Music is the 2nd largest music streaming service
Apple Music boasts a huge 68,000,000 subscribers. Just ahead of the UK in population number, but only by a mere 113,989 people, Apple Music would still be the 28th largest country in the world. Apple Music’s numbers are growing year on year, and it’s worth mentioning that Spotify did have a significant head start when it came to the phenomenon of streaming music. Bearing this in mind, it is certainly possible that Apple Music may close the gap between itself and Spotify (and consequently, Russia) in the foreseeable future. Until then, being in the top 30 largest countries is a pretty big deal in itself.
Amazon Prime Music is quite a distance from its video counterpart
With a still highly respectable 55,000,000 subscriber count, and a population larger than both Myanmar and Kenya, Amazon Prime Music is doing pretty well on the league table. The music streaming service would be the 33rd biggest country in the world in terms of its population count, and so is quite a way behind its overachieving Amazon sibling. It hasn’t got much to worry about though; it’s still the 3rd largest music streaming service in the world, so at least it’s got its own thing going on: hopefully its founders won’t be too disappointed in it.
Where do our other favorite streaming services rank?
So we’ve looked at the top players, but where do our other favorite streaming services lie in this ranking?
Hulu is quickly growing in numbers
A US-based streaming service that is growing in popularity at the moment is Hulu. Having released some incredible, award-winning original films and created some of the internet’s favorite TV shows, the subscriber numbers for this platform are growing steadily year on year. For now, it is the 13th most popular streaming service in the world, and its 38,800,000 subscribers would make it the 50th largest country in the world, overtaking Poland (pop. 37,846,611), Canada (pop. 37,742,154), and Morocco (pop. 36,910,560).
Youtube Premium’s rebrand boosted their numbers significantly
Despite technically being around since 2014, Youtube has recently rebranded its streaming platform as Youtube Premium. Combining video and audio streaming, Youtube Premium has a total of 30,000,000 subscribers. The rebrand was in 2018, so like Disney+, Youtube Premium has made significant progress in a fairly short period of time. Ranking as the 63rd highest populated country, the Youtube Premium Streaming State would have more people than Yemen, Nepal, Venezuela, and Australia (which all have populations in the 20,000,000s).
Paramount+ is new, but has huge potential
Speaking of rapid growth, the 18th largest streaming service in the world only launched on March 4 this year (having rebranded from ViacomCBS). Paramount+ has already amassed 17,900,000 subscribers, and they have big plans to continue to grow this number significantly. As it stands now, the Paramount+ country would be larger than Ecuador (pop. 17,643,054) and Syria (pop. 17,500,658).
HBO Max is bigger than The Netherlands
Another pandemic favorite streaming service is HBO Max. Its subscriber count in 2020 was 17,200,000, and they have already seen growth in the millions in 2021. Like Hulu, the platform has created plenty of incredible original content, and seems to only be getting bigger by the year, so who knows where they will end up. Their 2020 subscriber count put their metaphorical country’s population higher than that of The Netherlands (pop. 17,134,872), Senegal (pop. 16,743,927), and Cambodia (pop. 16,718,965).
ESPN+ and Apple TV+ bring up the rear, but both have great ambitions
ESPN+ and Apple TV+ both find themselves fairly far down the population league table. ESPN+ takes us out of the top 100 largest countries, placing 101st with its 11,500,000 subscribers, closely followed by the country of Haiti. Apple TV+ is 10 countries behind, with 10,000,000 subscribers, but this number is growing rapidly each year. Only ~100,000 people behind the population of Sweden, Apple TV+ is destined to climb up the ranks in no time at all.
The official ranking of streaming service populations compared to countries
For a complete, unabridged breakdown of how each streaming service’s population would look compared to each country, here is a table showing where each top platform (highlighted for ease) would sit.* How does your favorite streaming service compare?
*Some countries have been removed to condense the information and save you from scrolling through a table containing all 195 countries.
The sheer numbers involved in these streaming services aren’t easy to get your head around. With multiple platforms having ‘populations’ in the hundred billions, you can guarantee that there would be no lack of watchable content or exciting music in these fictional Streaming States. Luckily, you don’t have to live in one of these hypothetical countries to access all the content they offer. With the Mackeeper VPN client for Mac, you can transport yourself anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home. And what’s more, it is completely secure, so you don’t have to risk the health of your devices, either. Perfect.
Netflix vs The World: How do your favorite streaming services’ numbers compare to the world’s biggest countries?
The huge numbers that our favorite streaming services pull in probably won’t be too much of a shock to you. From ‘Netflix and Chill’ to ‘HBO Max and Relax’ (it will catch on, just watch), the names of these services have become a constant in our vocabularies. However, if the number of subscribers to these platforms was compared to the populations of the world’s biggest countries, how exactly would they fare?
Well, we’ve calculated that for you right here. Looking at the internet’s biggest TV, film, and music streaming services, we’ve crunched all the numbers and discovered just how large some of these services really are. If you'd like to know just how your most-used streaming service compares to the 30 biggest countries in the world, read on…
The companies earning more than countries
We all know that some companies earn an incredible amount of money, but did you know some earn more than entire countries? We’ve done the maths to see which businesses earn so much they eclipse nations on the world map, with some even proving to have a bigger revenue than the whole of Europe.
While a sunny holiday in a technology firm like Apple might not sound that enticing, given they earn more than the GDP of Italy, it might not be too far off the agenda.
Apple is worth more than 96% of the world
Apple’s gargantuan net worth means it exceeds the GDP of countries like Italy, Brazil, Canada and Russia. In fact, there are only seven countries in the world with a higher GDP than Apple’s $2.2 trillion - meaning the tech giant is richer than a whopping 96% of the world. Apple would take the place of the 8th richest country in the world, but would only need to increase its value to above $2.72 trillion to usurp France from seventh place. If Apple wants to move up the rankings, they better sell a few more iPhones and MacBooks to close that $500 billion gap.
Microsoft would be as large as Canada
Microsoft’s $1.8 trillion market cap puts it as the third largest company in our list (after Apple and Saudi Aramco, the petroleum and gas company). This puts its value on par with the GDP of Canada, and richer than many developed economies including Australia, Spain and Indonesia. In fact, both Apple and Microsoft have a greater market cap than all of Central Europe and the Baltic countries put together!
Amazon’s $1.6 trillion value would make it the 14th richest ‘country’ in the world
Online retailer Amazon is without a doubt one of the biggest tech giants worldwide, and has only seen it’s sales soar over the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s market capitalization of $1.6 trillion makes the company richer than 92% of countries on the globe.
But just what would Amazon as a country be like? Well, if you look at the company revenue versus GDP per head on average, it appears the residents of an Amazonian country would be very well off indeed, if its wealth was shared equally.
Looking at the total company revenue and the amount of staff employed by Amazon the revenue per head would be $351,531, more than any country in the world.
The destination with the highest GDP per capita in the world is Bermuda, with $117,089 — showing that with their high value and low ‘population’ sizes, these tech giants would have a massive GDP per capita as countries of their own.
Even Facebook would be wealthier than over 150 countries around the world
Whilst Facebook may not be in our top ten of companies with the highest value, with a market cap of $763 billion it is still a huge global player on the world stage. If Facebook were a country, it would be wealthier than Switzerland, Sweden and the UAE combined. The social media giant, which also owns the likes of Instagram and Whatsapp would rank as the 26th wealthiest country in the world but will the rise of new social media platforms see them increase their value exponentially sooner rather than later?
The countries with the most cash
It’s not just global businesses raking in the billions. Through taxes and exports, countries are also earning a fortune to aid national causes. Global nations (as a whole) are bringing in an immense amount of money — the total world GDP has recently been calculated at over $87 trillion.
The United States is the world’s richest country, with a 2019 revenue of $21.4tn. As huge global exporters of goods and food, the States earn money through the products they make, the food they grow and the companies who call them home. Amazon, Apple, and Google are just a few with their headquarters stateside.
Next in line is China. Another country that’s home to several massive brands, they had a 2019 GDP of $14tn, profiting in particular from the world-leading technology market that they dominate.
In third place is another Asian superpower, Japan. The home of Sony, Hitaachi, Toyota and more, their incredible range of technology and finance businesses saw them earn a 2019 GDP of $5tn.
The world’s richest companies
We’ve based our richest companies list on the value of their market capitalization versus the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), and also looked at how much the companies earned in 2019, the last year their revenue would have been unaffected by the Covid pandemic. While you might have heard of some of them, others do the bulk of their work behind the scenes, earning huge fortunes without us ever hearing about them in the press.
Countries v companies — our table shows where companies would sit in the global rankings
Nominal GDP (country) or Market Cap (company)
|1.||United States of America|
Ultimately, nine companies would make their way into the top 30 wealthiest countries in the world, all with a lion’s share of the world’s total GDP.
The majority are big tech giants; Apple, Amazon, Tesla, Google, Tencent and Facebook. However, Saudi Aramco would come in as the world’s tenth richest country, showing the value and power of petroleum and oil in the world economy.
Walmart has bigger revenue than Nigeria, Austria and Argentina
Whilst it may not compete in terms of market capitalization, from company revenue alone, Walmart’s massive global income makes it a bigger financial power than many countries, with Nigeria, Austria, Argentina, Iceland and Ireland all coming up short. With a GDP of $523bn, the supermarket giant makes Ireland’s $388bn look like loose change.
If Walmart was a country it might not be the worst thing in the world. You could probably live there quite happily, with a varied assortment of cuisines, fashions and home furnishings keeping things interesting!
Could any company overtake the USA?
As the current richest nation in the world, the USA’s $21tn looks pretty hard to overtake. But given the scope big businesses have to expand their offerings, their growth is potentially unlimited. After a few more years of iPhone upgrades and accessories, the United States of Apple could well be our new global leader.
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We looked at countries' nominal GDP and compared these against the market capitalization value of the top companies in the world, allowing us to rank the companies alongside the countries of the world. This would show us which companies would have a greater value than certain countries. Additionally, we worked out the GDP per capita by dividing the company value to employee ratio, giving us figures that were similar to a GDP per capita for a country. We also looked at company revenue as another talking point.
- GDP figures - World Bank
- Market Capitalization - Companies
- Company Revenue - Fortune
- Employee Count - Fortune
The figures above were correct as of 21 February 2021.
|Visual Capitalist||ttps://www.visualcapitalist.com/which-streaming-service-has-the-most-subscriptions/||Q4 2020 streaming numbers|
|World Meters||https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/||Population (2020)|
Using the subscription figures of streaming services, we're able to compare this against country population, showing how large streaming services are compared to countries.