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Video streaming services boom during lockdown in the UK



Video streaming services boom during lockdown in the UK

Kantar, the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company today launched its new Entertainment On Demand service in the UK, the newest offering from Kantar to help entertainment industry and investors understand the full entertainment subscription service consumer journey. The service reveals the following consumer behaviours in the three months to April:

  • >6million new video streaming subscriptions were purchased across the UK. 21% of British households purchased a new video subscription as they sought new entertainment options during the COVID19 lockdown period, taking the average number of subscriptions to 2.3 per household
  • 56% of UK households have at least one Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) subscription
  • 52% of new subscriptions were for Disney+, despite the service only launching 24th March
  • Almost half of all Disney+ subscribers signed up for an annual subscription, demonstrating the effectiveness of the £49.99 pre-order offer.
  • Tiger King beat the Mandalorian as the most cited content enjoyed, even amongst Disney+ subscribers
  • Access to back catalogues proved a key differentiator, creating challenges for those brands without wide ranging content
  • Netflix dominated in customer advocacy, with a Net Promoter Score of +46, far higher than its competitive set

While Netflix continues as the most popular streaming service, findings show that Disney+ is the rising star of Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD). Despite only launching in the UK in March, over half of new subscriptions in the past three months have been for its service. 55% of new Disney+ subscribers were stacked, meaning they already held at last one other SVoD service.

By contrast Netflix is the top driver of category growth, with 44% of its new subscribers accessing SVoD for the first time. The service also has the highest level of customer satisfaction in terms of the variety of TV shows it offers, the amount of original content and ease of use. All three of the most recommended series over the last three months – Tiger King, Ozark and Stranger Things – are Netflix exclusive. Original content and an extensive back catalogue has also driven significant growth for Disney+; 40% of subscribers cite The Mandalorian as their reason for joining the service.

Dominic Sunnebo, Senior Vice President at Kantar, Worldpanel Division, comments “As more UK 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.”

With the average SVoD household in the UK subscribing to 2.3 services, (compared to 3.1 in the USA) there is still room for growth. 44% of UK households do not yet have any SVoD service, Disney’s pre-launch which offered an annual subscription for a reduced £49.99, generated almost half of its total subscriptions today. One note of caution though is that 2.1 million housholds with multiple subscirptions plan to cancel at least one in the next three months.

Sunnebo continues: “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.”

Based on a longitudinal panel of 15,000 consumers and boosted by 2,500 new subscriber interviews each quarter, the service is designed to help the broadcast industry and investors understand the full consumer journey for digital video subscription services. The UK launch of Entertainment on Demand follows the U.S. launch in March, which highlighted the intensity of competition within video on demand streaming.Additional findings from the research reveal:

  • AppleTV+ sees high levels of engagement across Smartphone and Tablet, but lower than competition on TV – this highlights Apple’s focus and challenge on driving Apple TV hardware sales to enable viewership
  • Amazon Prime Video subscribers are impressed with its variety of TV series and ease of use, but are less content with the lack of new release films available. .
  • Smart TV purchases were a primary trigger for 1 in 5 new SVoD subscriptions
  • Customer advocacy and satisfaction increases across all platforms over time, meaning the onboarding experience is crucial to ensure long term retention

Kantar Entertainment On-Demand is delivered by the same team that provides the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturers with global mobile phone purchasing and usage trends. Kantar is the industry standard for TV viewing habits in more than 60 countries around the world, as well as being the leading global source of ad spend. This new service expands our expertise in to the subscription market and will help, major players, market entrants and investors understand the ‘why’ behind the ‘buy’ decision subscribers are making. Entertainment On-Demand is the only subscription service providing both quarterly installed base and new subscription market share alongside deep analysis on purchase motivations, including named content, customer experience, and diagnostics on ‘at-risk subscribers’ as well as guidance on acquisition and retention strategies.

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Dominic Sunnebo

Global Strategic Insight Director


+44 07886 264 751

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Get in touch

Dominic Sunnebo


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