Netflix is twice as popular as Amazon Prime Video in the UK, new statistics reveal.
A report from ratings giant Barb has charted the growth of subscription VOD (SVOD) services across the country, working out the most used services and the fastest growing. The findings, while not exact and based on surveys, show that in Q2 2017, 7.3 million UK households used Netflix, ahead of 3.8 million using Amazon Prime Video and 1.3 million using Sky’s contract-free service, NOW TV.
Usage is not mutually exclusive, though, with a growing number of people using more than service at once, picking and choosing their content, thanks to the flexibility and affordability of streaming platforms. Indeed, more than 9 million UK households now subscribe to at least one SVOD service, which Barb projects as meaning there are over 12 million subscriptions to SVOD services. This is in addition to any pay-TV packages to which homes are committed, as Virgin, for example, incorporate Netflix into their set top boxes – over 40 per cent of Virgin homes also have a Netflix subscription. The SVOD market has not yet reached maturity, then, but it is growing quickly, with the number of households using at least one service rising 24 per cent in the last year.
Growth varies with each provider. Netflix, still the dominant SVOD player in the UK, grew at the slowest rate of the three main services, with a 22 per cent annual growth rate, but added the most subscribers in the year, rising by 1.4 million to a total of 7.5 million. Amazon Prime Video, which had seen very high growth in late 2016 and early 2017, plateaued in Q3 2017 with the smallest quarter-on-quarter increase of all the three main services.
NOW TV, on the other hand, is racing to catch up, recording the largest annual subscription growth of 70 per cent, adding 0.6 million subscribers to reach a subscription base of 1.4 million households.
Overlap between services primarily occurs between Netflix and Amazon: by the third quarter of this year, of the 7.5 million households subscribing to Netflix, 2.3 million also subscribed to Amazon Prime Video – 31 per cent of Netflix’s subscriber base. Likewise, of all Amazon Prime Video subscribers, a significant 60 per cent of them also subscribed to Netflix.
The result highlights the way the TV landscape is gradually changing – in 2015, the average person watched 216 minutes daily of traditional consolidated TV (live and viewed within seven days of broadcast). In 2016, this fell to 212 minutes, a 2 per cent decrease. This shift is only going to increase, as the next generation of viewers grows up. Almost half of all children in the UK have access to one of the SVOD services. For young adults aged 16-24, nearly 60 per cent have access to one of the SVOD services. For these age groups, Barb concludes, SVOD isn’t a new entrant, niche or optional service: it’s a staple.