UK streaming market stabilises after turbulent year, says Kantar

Research and consulting firm Kantar has released its latest Entertainment on Demand (EoD) data on the UK’s streaming market this week, covering the period from September to December 2022. Among key findings, the company said the number of VOD-enabled households that subscribed to at least one video streaming service in Great Britain rose to 16.24million in the quarter, representing 56% of households.

In total, 5% of British homes took out a new streaming subscription during the final quarter of the year, down from 6% a year earlier: “The total number of video streaming services being subscribed to by British households rose by over 300k in the quarter,” said Kantar, with Prime Video, AppleTV+ and Paramount+ driving the major gains.

Drilling down into consumer behaviour, Kantar said Apple TV+ saw its highest-ever subscriber satisfaction score for ‘quality of the shows’, beating out Netflix and Disney. At the same time, however, “Wednesday on Netflix was the most enjoyed SVOD title in December, followed by The Crown, The White Lotus on NOW and then Andor on Disney+.” The much-discussed Harry & Meghan Netflix documentary resonated with UK viewers but has struggled to penetrate the US market

Dominic Sunnebo

Dominic Sunnebo, global insight director, Kantar, Worldpanel Division, said: “Prime Video had a strong final quarter of the year, with an increasing number of households taking out Prime memberships and using the Prime delivery service in the run-up to the Christmas holidays. With an influx of subscriptions, Prime Video managed to hold its conversion rate steady, with 61% of Prime members using the service.”

Among other interesting movements in the market, Kantar said there is some evidence that Paramount+ is gaining traction in the market and becoming less reliant on its strategic partnership with Sky. It said: “The recently launched Paramount+ service continues to draw in new subscribers, achieving 7.6% share of new sign-ups in the latest quarter. This signals that direct-to-consumer sales are increasing, reducing Paramount+’s reliance on the Sky Cinema partnership.  The Star Trek offerings on Paramount+, as well as global hit Yellowstone, were key draws to the service.”

On Netflix’s new ad-tier strategy, the company said: “Early data shows around 4% of existing Netflix subscribers downgraded to the new, cheaper, ad-supported tier during December, whilst just under one in five new subscribers chose the ad-supported tier. However, there was no big bump in subscriptions as a result. Netflix held 7.5% share of new subscribers in Q4 2022, indicating the £2 monthly price saving is not going to be enough to drive a significant new wave of Netflix subscribers in the UK.”

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