BARB: Netflix leads as a quarter of UK homes take SVOD

www.barb_SVOD_homesNetflix continues to lead the UK subscription video-on-demand market by “some margin” as 24% of UK households now use one of the three main SVOD suppliers, according to BARB.

UK TV ratings body’s latest UK Television Landscape report claims that almost a quarter of UK homes subscribed to Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video or Sky’s Now TV in Q4 of 2015 – up from 14% in Q1 2014 – with Netflix the “big success story”.

According to the stats, more than 5 million UK homes subscribed to Netflix in Q4 2015 after growing by 1.4 million homes year-on-year. Second place Amazon’s SVOD service was taken by more than 1.5 million homes and Now TV by less than a million after seeing growth of 0.5 million and 0.3 million homes respectively.

“While Netflix is the big success story of the past three years, findings from the Establishment Survey do not support some of the more dramatic rhetoric emanating from Netflix HQ: SVoD appears to be complementing rather than replacing traditional linear TV,” said BARB.

The TV Landscape Report, part of BARB’s ongoing Establishment Survey, claims that the evolution of SVoD is not “heralding the end to mainstream TV as we know it”.

The study said that SVoD homes skew younger than the average with 40% of the occupants of SVoD homes aged 24 or under, compared to 30% in the population as a whole.

However, it also said that less than 50% of 16-24 year-olds have access to an SVoD service and that the report “does not support the commonly expressed view that an entire generation of young people has more or less abandoned traditional TV in favour of binge viewing on Netflix or Amazon Video.”

BARB’s research found that the majority of most people’s viewing remains live to linear programming, despite the success of non-linear platforms including Apple TV, Netflix, Now TV and Roku.

In Q4 2015, some 0.44 million homes, out of a total of 27.6 million, claimed to have a TV but not access to a linear platform, while the number of non-TV households was also found to be growing.

As of Q4 2015, some 1.3m – or 4.7% of UK homes – did not own a TV, with the numbers of non-TV homes growing by more than 200,000 in both 2013 and 2014.

“Households without a TV still have access to video content, but are likely to watch it using a computer device, which means that what they watch and how they watch it is likely to be significantly different,” said BARB.

“One theory is that non-TV households are online pioneers who are keen on TV but prefer to use computer devices to access it. However, the figures suggest that those without TV sets are generally less interested in the TV experience: they have a lower level of broadband take-up, and they are significantly less likely to have a VOD subscription or own a tablet or a PC.”

The UK Television Landscape Report is a quarterly review of population trends and changes in how people can watch television. BARB’s Establishment Survey, an on-going UK research study in which more than 53,000 individuals are interviewed each year.