The British are loyal to Netflix, and embrace Amazon Prime

Great Britain’s appetite for video-on-demand subscription continues, with Amazon Prime capturing newcomers, and Netflixers proving to be the most loyal.
22 July 2021
Nicole Sangari

VP, Kantar Insights

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  • As of June 2021, there are 16.7 million VoD-enabled households in Great Britain, as 57% are subscribed to at least one service, while figures for those taking on new subscriptions take a fall compared to last year.
  • Continuing on the road out of lockdown, only 2.3% of Great Britain SVoD households took out a new subscription in Q2 2021, compared to 7% this time last year.
  • Disney+ scores highest in satisfaction for the variety of classic films (50% vs 29% for Netflix and 21% for Amazon Prime Video). Netflix has the highest length of subscription with 70% of subscribers having the service for more than two years.
  • The nation’s favourite VoD genre is crime drama: Great Britain streamers named BBC’s Line of Duty as their most enjoyed content for Q2 2021, followed by Mare of Easttown (NOW) and Lucifer (Netflix).

The British appetite for Video on Demand services (VoD) continues to grow. As Great Britain households adopt streaming services, this correlates with a decrease in the proportion of households subscribing to cable TV services such as Virgin and Sky – taking a downturn from 42.2% last year to 39.1% in Q2 2021, as viewing needs are (potentially) increasingly being satisfied by streaming services.

Our data reveals the following behaviours within VoD from June 2020 to June 2021:

UK EoD q2 2021 

Amazon continues to capture new subscribers

Whilst VoD subscription platforms begin to witness a slowdown in attracting new customers, Amazon Prime Video remains in first place, securing over a third of signups, a title they’ve held for the past five quarters. However, it’s Netflix that dominates as the entry-level subscription service, with 44% of its new subscribers never having taken out an SVoD service before. Once Netflix adopts new subscribers, they tend to stay loyal. Netflix has the highest length of subscription, with 70% of subscribers having the service for more than two years. NOW comes second with 57%, and APV sits at 52%.

With 77% of VoD-enabled households in GB having a Netflix subscription, it continues to be the most significant player in the market. In contrast, after over a year of service, Britbox has only managed to achieve 2% penetration in the market. The main areas of dissatisfaction with Britbox lies in the lack of ability to download content (-15%) and value for money (-16%). For Britbox to compete against the big players it must convince subscribers that it’s mixture of nostalgia-inducing titles like Spitting Image, and new releases such as The Beast Must Die, are worth signing up for.

Brits love a crime drama

The results are clear: the Great British public loves to watch storylines fused with plots that come with the crime drama genre.

Here are Britain’s most enjoyed VoD shows during Q2 2021:

  1. Line of Duty
  2. Mare of Easttown
  3. Lucifer
  4. Wandavision
  5. Loki
  6. The Crown
  7. Sweet Tooth
  8. Bridgerton
  9. Lupin
  10. Time

Shows such as Line of Duty, Mare of Easttown and Lucifer top the list – with Lupin and Time also featuring in the top 10. With some content from British broadcasters, e.g. BBC’s Line of Duty, also being licensed to SVoD platforms, we’re seeing new commercial relationships evolve to provide consumers with a range of opportunities to view popular content. The top content enjoyed corroborates our data on favourite genres, as drama has been the favourite genre for British VoD households since our tracking service began in Q1 2020. Almost a fifth of subscribers rate this genre first, followed by Action & Adventure and Sci-Fi & Fantasy.

Is Disney+ winning with families?

Although Disney+ is renowned as the streaming service for families due to a long-standing brand association, they face tough competition from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video across share of Pre-School (0-7 years old), School Age (8-15) and Older Kids households (older than 16). Looking at network share within each of these families, Netflix leads across all three. Comparing year on year, Netflix has lost share in all three family types, while Disney+ has gained share in the younger two family types, signifying that it has made an impact on the market since its launch. Prime Video has gained across all three family groups and with their overall new subscriber growth remaining top – this makes them the biggest threat to traditional family players like Disney.

EoD GB graph 2

Looking at drivers of satisfaction, Disney+ wins the highest satisfaction amongst all three families for the variety of classic films (50% vs 29% for Netflix and 21% for APV) and amount of children’s content available (39% vs 23% for Netflix and 15% for APV). When it comes to subscription triggers, Disney+ leads the way across all three families for people signing up to watch content only available on the service, indicating the importance of its ever-expanding catalogue of titles. So, whilst it may not be winning in terms of share, Disney+ has managed to make a big splash during its first year of launch and has captured the hearts of many families. Its expansion into the GB family market is likely to continue growing at pace and providing healthy competition to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Access the interactive dataviz for more information.

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