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Amazon wins Q4, but Disney+ dominates 2020 SVOD signups

Amazon accounted for almost half of the UK’s new streaming customers across the festive period, a new report has revealed.

According to figures from Kantar, Amazon attracted 49% of the 1.3 million new subscriptions in the final quarter of 2020 – approximately 635,000 signups. Amazon managed to draw in almost three times more subscribers than Netflix, which was placed in second with 17%.

Amazon’s growth in the quarter in the UK can largely be attributed to its ever-increasing sports portfolio. The company officially has 20 English Premier Leagues per season, but has been given additional matches per month by the league as matches continue to be played behind closed doors. It also broadcast the Autumn Nations cup Rugby, while entertainment content including The Boys and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm were big draws.

Kantar SVP Dominic Sunnebo said: “In the fourth quarter 1.3 million British households took out a new video streaming subscription, and Amazon’s Prime Video captured almost half of these. Amazon’s increasing focus on live sports continues to pay big dividends.”

It is also worth noting that this total includes Prime subscribers who may just be using the offer for its expedited shipping on Amazon’s ecommerce site. This is particularly relevant as much of the UK’s physical retail sector was shut down in the build up to Christmas, driving shoppers online.

The report also examined the performance of Disney+ from its UK release in March. The family-oriented streamer attracted more than 50% of the tidal new UK subscribers in Q1, but this slowed to 15% in Q4.

Overall, Disney+ was the best performing streaming service of the year, making up 38% of the 2020 total. Amazon was in second with 25%, while Netflix attracted 19% of new sign-ups.

Kantar added that Britbox saw its best performance in Q4, taking 5.2% of all new sign-ups. The data firm attributed this to the return of Spitting Image, but it is also worth noting the recent launch of a six-month free offer to BT customers.