16.7 million subscribers
At the end of June 2021, Great Britain had 16.7 million households subscribed to a video on demand offer, of which 57% subscribed to at least one SVOD service. After a prosperous 2020, the first half of 2021 shows more modest growth: only 2.3% of British households took out a new SVOD subscription in the second quarter of 2021, compared to 7% last year at the same time. Despite this, the British appetite for SVOD services continues to grow. The adoption of streaming services by UK households is accompanied by a decrease in the proportion of households subscribing to cable TV services such as Virgin and Sky – from 42.2% last year to 39 , 1% in the second quarter of 2021, as viewing needs are (potentially) increasingly met by streaming services.
Amazon takes the lead
Even if a saturation phenomenon seems to be setting in for SVOD services, Amazon Prime Video has established itself as the most dynamic service, obtaining more than a third of new registrations, a title that Jeff Bezos’ company has held for 5 quarters. However, Netflix dominates as an entry-level subscription service, with 44% of its new subscribers never having subscribed to an SVOD service before. Once Netflix embraces new subscribers, those tend to stick around. Netflix has the longest subscription length, with 70% of subscribers having the service for more than two years. NOW comes in second with 57%, and Amazon Prime Video is at 52%.
Netflix still leader
Netflix remains the most important player in the British market: 77% of households subscribed to an SVOD offer have a subscription to Netflix. At the same time, Kantar observes that Britbox, more than a year after its launch, the service has only managed to achieve a 2% market penetration. The main sources of dissatisfaction with Britbox are the lack of ability to download content (-15%) and the value for money (-16%). For Britbox to compete with the big players, it must convince its subscribers that its mix of nostalgic titles, like “Spitting Image”, and new releases, like “The Beast Must Die”, is worth subscribing.
Disney, the favorite service for families
For a little over a year, Disney + has been recruiting more new subscribers than Netflix. The studio’s service has the highest satisfaction score for the variety of classic films (50% vs. 29% for Netflix and 21% for Amazon Prime Video). Ditto for the amount of content available for children (39% against 23% for Netflix and 15% for Amazon Prime Video). According to Kantar, while not winning in terms of market share, Disney + managed to make a splash in its first year of launch and won the hearts of many British families; its expansion into the UK family market is expected to continue at a strong pace and provide healthy competition to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
The battle between the 3 streamers is intense: although Disney + is renowned as the streaming service for families, it faces stiff competition from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video for the household share of preschool age (0-7 years), school age (8-15 years) and older children (over 16 years). If we look at the network share within each of these families, Netflix leads in all three cases. If you compare the numbers year over year, Netflix lost shares in all three family types, while Disney + gained shares in the two youngest family types, meaning that it has had an impact on the market since its launch. Amazon Prime Video has gained market share across all three family groups, and with overall new subscriber growth outpacing its competitors, Prime Video has a solid outlook.