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Research: Brits press pause on smaller SVoDs

August 11, 2022

Research suggests that people in the UK are starting to cut back on the number of streaming services they use, sticking to the ‘Big 3’ of Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+.

The personal finance comparison site,, repeated research from 2019, finding that the number of Brits who have streamed over the past year has reached nine in 10 (89 per cent), up from 82 per cent in 2019.

Despite this, only three platforms saw meaningful growth in users. Netflix remains the UK’s most popular streaming service with over three in five (62 per cent) people having used it over the past 12 months vs 54 per cent in 2019.

Almost half of Brits (48 per cent) have streamed something via Amazon Prime, up from 40 per cent, three years ago.

Disney+ (33 per cent) has seen a third of Brits use the service over the past year, an impressive figure considering it only launched in 2020.

Other platforms have not seen such good results, though. Separate research from found that 19 per cent of Brits say they’re planning to, or have already, cut back on the TV/film streaming platforms they pay for as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.

This is reflected with the fourth most popular platform in the survey – Sky Go. Almost one in six (17 per cent) have used it, but this is down significantly from 2019, when almost a quarter (24 per cent) had watched something on the platform.

NOW and TVPlayer have likewise seen a reduction in people using their platforms. NOW has seen 13 per cent watch something via the service, down from 19 per cent and TVPlayer has seen a particularly large drop, from 23 per cent to 9 per cent.

Apple TV+ has remained static at 8 per cent while BT TV has seen the number using its services almost halve from 13 per cent to 7 per cent.

The drop in viewers that many platforms have experienced may partly be explained by the fact that 1.7 million people said they streamed a TV show illegally and 1.25 million downloaded a film this way.

In terms of sports, 1.25 million Brits admitted streaming Premier League football illegally and 2 million admitted streaming some form of sport illicitly.

“The prolonged lockdowns that everyone in the UK faced will have inevitably sped up the process of Brits trialling and paying for streaming services,” states Liz Edwards, Editor-in-Chief at “This is reflected in our overall figures, yet it was notable to see the consolidation towards a select few platforms. It makes sense that people may be cutting down on the number of streaming platforms they use as we struggle with rampant inflation and rising energy bills. A few simple steps like checking to see which platforms allow multiple users, and where your favourite shows are hosted may save you from needlessly paying for more platforms than you need.”

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