Research: Netflix to top 10m UK subs by year-end

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Netflix’s rapid growth in the UK seems set to continue, according to the latest edition of ScreenThink, a syndicated market tracker from research and strategy consultancy MTM. With over 9 million subscribers by the end of Q1 2018, Netflix looks set to exceed 10 million subscribers this year, if it can keep churn levels down – new research shows 1.1 million consumers intending to subscribe to the service before the end of the year.

Churn has been a significant challenge for many SVoD providers, but Netflix subscribers are amongst the most satisfied users in the UK, with 88 per cent claiming to be satisfied, the highest rating for any subscription TV or video service in the UK.

The integration of Netflix into the Sky Q offer could support further growth for the SVoD service, with 200,000 current Sky Q users looking to subscribe to Netflix by the end of 2018. Moreover, the ability to easily access Netflix’s service on the primary TV screen will likely increase Netflix’s share of overall viewing within Sky Q homes. For context, 31 per cent of all Virgin Media’s TiVo homes currently access Netflix via their set-top box.

The latest ScreenThink data, based on a survey of more than 3,000 UK online users aged 16+, confirms that non-linear video services are increasingly important to viewers. Nearly 25 per cent of UK Internet users overall – and 39 per cent of 16-24-year-olds – claim that video offerings such as Netflix and YouTube are the first services they turn to when looking for TV or video content. The greater availability of low-cost paid-for video services such as Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video is also impacting consumer perceptions of value for money: 54 per cent of UK pay-TV subscribers now believe that their TV service is overpriced, and one in four are thinking about cancelling their subscription.

“The most recent ScreenThink study provides a fascinating snapshot of a market in transition, demonstrating the significant impact of Netflix and other OTT video services in the UK market,” says Jon Watts, Managing Partner at MTM. “The UK’s broadcasters and pay-TV providers remain in a strong position and have developed world-class OTT products – the BBC iPlayer, All4, the ITV Hub, My5 and NOW TV – but we’re clearly seeing signs of significant shifts in consumer attitudes and perceptions of quality, in terms of content, value for money and innovation.”


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