Research: 56% UK homes have SVoD

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Data insights and consulting company Kantar has launched its new Entertainment On Demand service in the UK, designed 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:

  • > 6 million new video streaming subscriptions were purchased across the UK. Twenty-one per cent of British households purchased a new video subscription as they sought new entertainment options during the Covid-19 lockdown period, taking the average number of subscriptions to 2.3 per household
  • 56 per cent of UK households have at least one Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) subscription
  • 52 per cent 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 SVoD. Despite only launching in the UK in March, over half of new subscriptions in the past three months have been for its service. Fifty-five per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent of subscribers cite The Mandalorian as their reason for joining the service.

“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,” advises Dominic Sunnebo, Senior Vice President at Kantar, Worldpanel Division. “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 US) there is still room for growth. 44 per cent 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 households with multiple subscriptions plan to cancel at least one in the next three months.

“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,” suggests Sunnebo. “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.”

Additional findings 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

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