Netflix now has 1.5 million subscribers in the UK.
The video on-demand service has stormed the market this year, starting with Kevin Spacey in a high-end remake of House of Cards and finishing with the final episodes of drugged-up drama Breaking Bad. But while AMC’s show has posted record viewing figures (thanks, it is thought, to the growing number of viewers who caught up on VOD), Netflix has positioned itself strongly against the traditional TV model. Shows like Hemlock Grove and Arrested Development continued its drive to produce not just exclusive content, but original content.
Now, all that planning has paid off, according to a new report from Enders Analysis. Netflix has not officially announced its current figures, but Enders’ research pegs it between 1.5 million and 2 million.
“Netflix is still something of the silent intruder in the UK,” the report’s author, Toby Syfret, told The Guardian. “While BT Sport makes all the headlines, Netflix has released almost nothing publicly since announcing last August that it had broken the one million barrier.”
The company has almost 38 million customers worldwide, 7 million of whom are located outside the US. Based on the number of visits the site gets vs those international figures, Enders’ report suggests the service is “gaining traction” in the UK.
In the US, the report adds, 50 per cent of users view Netflix titles on their games console, while 42 per cent use their computer. A scarier statistic shows just how far the company has penetrated the home entertainment market: in peak viewing hours, Netflix accounts for 30% of total internet traffic.
Syfret also told The Guardian that the company’s growth partly stems from luring users away from LOVEFiLM, its Amazon-owned rival. The latter has reportedly seen site visits drop as Netflix’s traffic rises.
“The main types of Netflix customer are pay-TV households and younger adults who have not yet set up more permanent households, but generally live in free-to-air TV dwellings and enjoy the occasional binge,” added Syfret.
Netflix shares also recently reached a two-year high following a deal with The Weinstein Company to screen all its films before other pay-per-view TV channels from 2016. It already has a similar agreement with MGM, which gave Netflix UK first dibs on streaming The Hobbit last month.
For the company, though, you suspect this latest landmark is far from an unexpected journey.