One in five UK homes with broadband now use Netflix, according to new statistics.
The VOD giant has been expanding rapidly in recent years, with launches in Japan, Spain, Portugal and Italy joining territories such as Australia, New Zealand, USA and France. The site announced it has over 65 million members around the world halfway through 2015, more people than in the whole of the UK.
3.3 million people signed up in the second of 2015, 0.9 million of those in the US and 2.4 million in other countries. Internationally, excluding the US, the company has 23 million subscribers.
The UK makes up a significant chunk of that group. Although Netflix doesn’t release exact figures, other studies have revealed the extent of the subcription service’s growth. The proportion of adults aged 15 and over watching on-demand services has more than doubled in recent years – from 27 per cent in 2010 to 57 per cent in 2014, according to Ofcom. Stats earlier this year suggested that around one-third of users who have their TV hooked up to the web watch TV programmes or films via a free catch-up service from public service broadcasters (e.g. BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All4, or Demand5), but over-the-top services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant, are becoming increasingly popular, with 15 per cent of all adults using their TV to access them
Now, new research from Parks Associates indicates that almost one-fifth of UK broadband households (18 per cent) use Netflix – not just any over-the-top or subscription, but specifically Netflix. That places the paid service almost on even footing with the free ITV Player (used by 20 per cent of households in the last 30 days). iPlayer remains the most popular streaming platform, with 33 per cent of connected households accessing the Beeb’s catch-up library.
“The results in the U.K. and in other European markets show that paid OTT video streaming services are now a fixture in this video entertainment landscape,” says Brett Sappington, Director of Research at Parks Associates, who carried out this new study. “The fact that a growing number of consumers are willing to pay for subscription services when there are free options, like iPlayer and other broadcaster-based sites or apps, shows strong appetite for video among consumers.”
“Netflix, the clear leader in the US, entered Europe with high expectations,” he adds. “Subscriber growth has been slow in several parts of Europe, but with no dominant leaders in subscription services, Netflix and other entrants are gaining a foothold. For example, Amazon Instant Video had the highest rate of usage in Germany with 17 per cent of broadband households, and Netflix was second at 6 per cent.”
Overall, 58 per cent of UK broadband households have used a video streaming service or player within the past 30 days.
“Growth in new streaming video services exploded in the US, and we are starting to see the same in Europe, with new companies introducing on-demand and live streaming services,” Sappington adds. “OTT providers both established and new, including content producers, pay-TV providers, broadcasters, and CE manufacturers, have plenty of room to grow.”