Research: Netflix usage holds up despite sub losses
May 24, 2022
Attest, a consumer research platform for global brands, has released the findings from its first Quarterly UK & US Media Consumption Tracker. It provides continuous insights into how consumers’ habits across television, audio, news and social media continue to evolve in both countries.
US: TV & Streaming Trends
Despite Netflix reporting a loss in US subscribers, Americans’ use seems to hold up – could password sharing be the issue?
- In January, Netflix announced its first monthly subscription price increase in two years and by April it reported shedding 600,000 subscribers in the US and Canada. However, Attest reveals that actual use of the platform has held up.
- This data finds that Netflix had the biggest growth in regular users of all the streaming services in Q1, with a 2.8 percentage point increase in people watching it at least once a week – taking its audience to 71.2 per cent of working-age Americans.
- With usage amongst consumers appearing to hold up, Netflix’s plans to crack down on password sharing could have a significantly negative impact on usage levels in future.
Prime Video, HBO Max & Disney+ all fall in usage
- The research finds that Prime Video, one of Netflix’s closest competitors, took a big hit, with a 5.2 percentage point reduction in weekly viewers in the US (now at 41.3 per cent). Prime Video is not alone in losing viewers; HBO Max fell by 3.1 percentage points (at 26.4 per cent) and Disney+ saw a 2.2 percentage point reduction in weekly users (at 32.4 per cent).
Number of hours Americans spend watching TV also creeped up in Q1
- The research found that binge watching of TV – across live, on-demand and streaming – crept up. There was a 2.9 percentage point increase in Americans watching more than 6 hours of TV (up to 16 per cent in Q1), as well as a 2.2 percentage point increase in up to 4 hours in front of the TV (to 32.9 per cent), perhaps tied to global events in Q1.
UK: TV & Streaming Trends
Brits’ boxset bingeing comes to an end in Q1
- The boxset bingeing many Brits engaged in during lockdown is long gone; the Q1 data shows a 3.6 percentage point decline in people watching subscription streaming platforms for more than four hours a day, bringing the figure down to just 5.7 per cent.
- Conversely, there was a 5.7 percentage point increase in the more modest viewing time of 1-2 hours.
- This data finds that Netflix had the biggest growth in regular users of all the streaming services in Q1, with a 2.8 percentage point increase in people watching it at least once a week – taking its audience to 71.2 per cent of working-age Brits.
Live TV & free on-demand services see drops, but overall TV viewing is up
- Viewing of live TV and free on-demand services is also trending down in the first quarter of 2022. Nearly a quarter of people (at 25 per cent) don’t watch any live TV now (a 1.7 percentage point increase from Q.4), and 24 per cent don’t watch free on-demand services (a 2.4 percentage point increase).
- However, the time the public spends watching TV overall (all types combined) has increased slightly since the beginning of the year and in a qualitative question, Brits said their top shows were Bridgerton and Peaky Blinders.
Brits’ use of Netflix also seems to hold up
- Netflix, despite losing subscribers for the first time in a decade, appears to still be going strong in the UK. It showed a 4 percentage point increase in the number of people watching the platform at least once a week, with 76.4 per cent of consumers saying they regularly watch Netflix.
- Disney+ chalked up a 7.3 percentage point increase in weekly viewers, indicating faster growth (37.6 per cent of Brits now watch the platform regularly). Amazon Prime, Netflix’s closest competitor, also achieved a 3.3 percentage point boost in weekly viewers, but still lags behind Netflix, with 47.4 per cent of Brits regularly watching it.
US: Audio Trends
YouTube Music edges closer to Spotify’s top spot as America’s favorite music service
- According to the findings, Youtube Music is almost neck and neck with Spotify now, thanks to a 1.7 percentage point increase in regular users during Q1. While 38.7 per cent of working-age Americans regularly use Spotify, 34.8 per cent are now tuning into YouTube Music.
- All the other music streaming services in the survey lost users including Amazon Music, Apple Music, Google Play Music and SoundCloud. In fact, Amazon Music declined the most; dropping 4 percentage points from Q.4 to Q1. With just 18.4 per cent of Americans using the platform regularly, it’s now a weak competitor for the two leaders mentioned above.
Listening habits across music streaming and podcasts are trending upwards
- On the whole, streaming music is modestly trending up; with a 2 percentage point increase in people listening daily. Meanwhile, podcasts are also being listened to more frequently, with a 2.2 percentage point increase in people listening on a weekly basis. In a qualitative question, Americans were most likely to name The Joe Rogan Experience as their favorite podcast.
UK: Audio Trends
Brits tune into the radio in Q1
- Also trending up in the first quarter of the year is radio listening. The data showed a 5.5 percentage point increase in UK consumers listening to the radio daily; this means 40 per cent of Brits are now tuning in to their favourite stations each day.
Podcasts continue strong growth in the UK
- The Attest research found a 4.5 percentage point reduction in the number of people who say they “never” listen to podcasts. Coupled with this, there is a 3.7 percentage point increase in people listening to podcasts “a few times a week” pointing to wider adoption of this audio format amongst the British public.
- However, adoption of other audio media formats, like audiobooks, is slow, with 60 per cent of consumers never listening to them, with daily usage falling in Q1 by 1.2 percentage points (to 3.5 per cent).
Spotify still rules the roost as the most popular music streaming platform
- Spotify retains its place as the most popular music streaming platform amongst UK consumers, seeing a very minor increase in use (by 1.7 percentage points), with 46 per cent of Britain’s music lovers using the service.
UK: Social Media Trends
Facebook and Instagram grow at a faster rate than their competitors in Q1
- According to Attest, since rebranding to Meta, the technology giant has seen a leap in daily usage across Facebook and Instagram in the UK. For the first three months of 2022, Facebook chalked up a 6.6 percentage point increase in the number of British consumers using the platform daily, meaning 62 per cent of Britons use it on a daily basis.
- Likewise, Instagram has recorded a 6.7 percentage point increase (with 47.1 per cent of the public using it every day).
TikTok also shows user growth in the UK
- The new research also highlights TikTok’s notable user growth over the quarter, gaining the most new users of all platforms in Q1, as the percentage of people who admitted to “never” using it fell by 3.7 percentage points.
Ahead of a potential Musk takeover, Twitter struggles for users in the UK
- According to the data, Twitter recorded a disappointing performance, with a 1.6 percentage point loss in weekly users in Q1. More worryingly for the percentage of Britons who say they “never” use the platform stands at 39.6 per cent in comparison to Facebook’s 14.4 per cent, highlighting the scale of Elon Musk’s job to take the platform forward if he eventually takes over the service.
US: Social Media Trends
Twitter achieves little growth in usage in Q1
- When compared with Q.4 2021, Twitter achieved a tiny 0.9 percentage point increase in weekly users by the end of Q1 2022.
- Over the same period, it actually recorded a 0.5 percentage point increase in the number of people who say they ‘never’ use the platform – this figure now stands at half of working-age Americans (50 per cent), highlighting the scale of Elon Musk’s job to take the platform forward if he eventually takes over the company.
Facebook, Instagram & most of all, Snapchat, suffer rise in ‘non-users’ this past quarter
- Beyond Twitter, other uninspiring performances seen during Q1 include that of Facebook and Instagram. Both platforms saw their numbers of non-users increase (by 2.3 and 2.5 percentage points respectively).
- However, Snapchat had the highest loss of users from quarter to quarter of any platform, with a 3.3 percentage point increase in the number of people who never use it, leaving well over half of Americans (53.2 per cent) as non-users.
TikTok is the only social media platform to grow in usage, but YouTube’s daily users spikes
- By contrast, TikTok was the only social media platform from this research to show growth amongst non-users – achieving a 1 percentage point decline in Americans who ‘never’ use the service (from 47.7 per cent in Q.4 to 46.7 per cent in Q1).
- However, YouTube trumped all platforms with a significant spike in active, daily users – jumping by nearly 5 percentage points when compared to Q.4 levels, meaning 52 per cent of the public use this platform on a daily basis.