Netflix shows resilience as GB households embrace streaming choices

Discovery+, Disney+, and Apple TV+ saw the fastest growth in subscriber share over the quarter, with the Night Agent by Netflix being the most watched SVoD title in June.
27 July 2023

Global Strategic Insights Director, Worldpanel Division

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Worldpanel’s latest Entertainment on Demand (EoD) data on the Great British streaming market uncovers the following behaviours and findings within the Video on Demand (VoD) market between April to June 2023:

  • 7% of British households took out a new streaming subscription in the second quarter of the year, up from 5% a year earlier
  • Discovery+, Disney+, and Apple TV+ saw the fastest growth in subscriber share over the quarter
  • The Night Agent on Netflix was both the most watched and most enjoyed SVoD title in June
  • Disney’s The Mandalorian was the second most watched and enjoyed title in June
  • Netflix planned next quarter subscription cancellation increased quarter on quarter to 4% from 3% of its total GB subscription base, off the back of password sharing restrictions
  • Top reasons for watching SVoD in Q2: #1 I want to relax after a long day, #2 I want something to lift my mood, #3 I want a distraction to stop boredom
  • Between April to June 2023, 19.97m households held at least one VoD service, representing 68% of households

Writers / actors strike set to challenge those lacking deep content back catalogues

Amidst the ongoing strike by both writers and actors, many new productions have ground to a complete halt. While consumers may not feel the immediate impact, the upcoming months will lead to a significant slowdown in new content releases, which is cited as being the main reason for over 40% of new SVoD services being taken out by consumers.

Considering that newly released shows are cited as the #1 driver of new service adoption, the usual buzz surrounding the latest shows will undoubtedly experience a notable shift. Streaming services will face the immediate challenge of reshaping their priorities by implementing revised content release strategies and prominently featuring library content to retain their subscriber bases, which have already been strained by the ongoing cost of living crisis. We expect to see the trend of releasing series episodes on a weekly basis accelerate. A delicate balance will be crucial to keep viewers engaged and satisfied during this challenging period – a balance that will prove easier to manage for services that have sizeable back catalogues, like Netflix and Disney+.

Netflix resilient but households’ content exploration widens

Despite Netflix’s password sharing crackdown, next quarter’s planned cancellation rates only saw a mild increase to 4% from 3%. Netflix’s The Night Agent proved the standout favourite title this quarter in Great Britain and was the #1 most viewed title surpassing highly acclaimed series such as The Mandalorian, Succession, and Ted Lasso.

Netflix also retained its dominance in overall viewing time, with almost half of subscribers accessing the service daily. A signal of Netflix’s strong foundation in British households is that 52% of those with an SVoD subscription turn to Netflix first when they are looking to find a new series or film to watch. Prime Video trails a distant second, with just 13% turning to Amazon’s streaming service when looking for inspiration.

Despite this popularity, it’s important to note that only 3/10 of the most enjoyed titles this quarter were Netflix releases. This trend underscores the fact that GB households are diversifying their content preferences, embracing a wider range of offerings from other streaming services, notably Apple TV+ and Disney+, which were once viewed as supplementary. In an ever-changing landscape where content choices abound, households are increasingly exploring beyond the boundaries of a single service.

Commentating on the study’s findings, Dominic Sunnebo, Global Business Unit and Commercial Director, Kantar Worldpanel said: “Streaming services will face a delicate balance to keep viewers engaged and satisfied during this challenging period, without necessarily having a plethora of fresh content to entice them with. A shift in content release strategies and a focus on back catalogues will be crucial to weather the storm. Moreover, we observe that Netflix has shown resilience in the face of changing industry dynamics, but households are diversifying their content preferences, exploring offerings from other streaming services like Apple TV+ and Disney+. With the cost of living crisis showing little sign of abating, it’s those services that can demonstrate the most value that are likely to emerge as clear winners”.

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Note to Editors

Updated Methodology

As the TV streaming market continues to experience rapid changes and adaptations in response to evolving consumer demands, Kantar Worldpanel recognises the necessity of consistently monitoring and evaluating its methodology to ensure accurate reporting of its findings.

Kantar Worldpanel, responsible for the Entertainment on Demand study, became aware of an under-read on smaller Video on Demand (VOD) services that were introduced to the market after the initial launch of the study. In response to these changes, Worldpanel has proactively improved the methodology by adjusting how survey questions are phrased, incorporating a visual prompt of streaming services for panellists. This has significantly enhanced the precision of capturing services that might not be immediately top of mind within a household’s portfolio, ensuring the study uses the most relevant and up-to-date categorisation and terminology, providing a more inclusive and accurate representation of the whole streaming landscape.

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