ITVX and Apple TV+ shows strong growth in UK market, while Netflix struggles

ITVX and Apple TV+ have shown strong growth among viewers in the UK, with Netflix hit by a loss of subscribers, according to research and consulting firm Kantar. 

Kantar data revealed at the end of 2022, consumers scaled back their video streaming subscriptions with 144,000 households dropping out of the VoD sector altogether and a total net loss of 167,000 subscriptions.

ITV’s relaunched streaming service ITVX and ITVX premium performed the best among the streamers, gaining the highest number of subscribers from the previous quarter. ITVX noted a jump in weekly users in Q1’23 vs ITVHub in Q4’22, along with ITVX premium gaining 5% of new SVoD subscribers in the quarter with the incorporation of BritBox content. A Spy Among Friends was the top title for attracting new subscribers in the quarter, followed by nature programme A Year on Planet Earth.

AppleTV+ saw the second fastest growth and came fourth in terms of share of new subscribers over the quarter. Apple TV original drama Slow Horses was instrumental in generating new subscribers to the streaming service.

Dominic Sunnebo, global insight director, Kantar, Worldpanel Division, “Whist AppleTV+ continues to attract new subscribers, its growth prospects remain somewhat hamstrung until it can get a handle on churn, which remains well above its competitive set. The investment in British content clearly resonates with the population and AppleTV+ subscribers rate the quality of programming on the service higher than any other platform. Apple’s challenge, however, is that it can’t produce new series fast enough for subscribers to feel like they’re getting sufficient value for money. While Apple scores top on quality on shows, it remained bottom on value for money, with the #1 reason for cancellation being ‘not enough new TV shows.”

The launch of Netflix cheaper ad supported price tier has helped saw a small pick-up in share of new subscribers. However, has not proven as effective following increased cancellations of subscriptions. Netflix subscriber net satisfaction in value for money fell from +31% a year ago to +22% in the first quarter of 2023.

“There has been no dramatic drop across most of Netflix’s key performance metrics, but rather, a gradual decline across almost all areas, including satisfaction with variety of TV series, amount of original content and quality of shows. This is further demonstrated further by looking at the most enjoyed content across Britain, in the first quarter of 2023, with just 3 of the top 10 most enjoyed VoD titles being on Netflix, compared to 6 a year ago,” Sunnebo added. “Netflix consumers are increasingly questioning the value for money they get from their subscriptions and when consumer finances remain tight, this is translating into increased churn.

Similarly, Prime membership dropped back in Q1, but this was limited to just a 1%-point drop and saw a boost of engagement among loyal Prime Members in Q1’23. Kantar notes titles such as Clarkson’s Farm and Amazon’s investment in sports content were key in driving engagement to the platform.

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