Streaming Booms in the U.K. Amid Lockdown


According to Kantar, 6 million new video streaming subscriptions were purchased in the U.K. amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

Kantar’s new Entertainment On Demand data service in the U.K. reveals that as of the end of May, 21 percent of British homes acquired a new video streaming subscription during the lockdown. As such, the number of subs per home is now up to 2.3. More than half of the new signups (52 percent) were for Disney+ and almost half of those opted for the discounted annual offer of £49.99.

More than half (56 percent) of U.K. households subscribe to at least one SVOD platform. Per Kantar, access to back catalog is a key differentiator for SVOD services, creating challenges for those that don’t have broad content offerings.

Netflix remains the most popular streaming platform, with the highest level of customer satisfaction in terms of the breadth and volume of the slate and ease of use. All three of the most-recommended series over the last three months were on Netflix: Tiger King, Ozark and Stranger Things.

At Disney+, original content and a large back catalog have helped drive subs; 40 percent of subscribers cite The Mandalorian as their reason for joining the service.

Dominic Sunnebo, senior VP at Kantar’s Worldpanel division, noted, “As more U.K. consumers turn to subscription-funded streaming for their entertainment needs, it’s clear they want a wide range of content, with Netflix and Disney+ the clear winners. With over half of SVOD subscribers happy with the value-for-money subscriptions offer, this move towards stacked services is likely to continue.”

Sunnebo added, “COVID-19 has no doubt driven the short term-gains for subscription services, but with so many planning to cut their subscriptions in the coming months, SVOD brands need to adopt new marketing strategies to stem the flow. Disney’s pre-launch special was a perfect example of how successful this can be, with almost half of its customers signing up to its annual subscription offer.”