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Deloitte UK: 1 in 4 share SVoD costs

September 1, 2023

More than a third (35 per cent) of people with access to a SVoD service in the UK are sharing at least one of their services with others outside their home, according to a Deloitte report.

Deloitte also notes that subscription sharing has also become more formalised, with a quarter of users (25 per cent) sharing the cost of an SVoD platform they use with other households. This is also most prolific among younger users, rising to 34 per cent for 16-24 year-olds and 32 per cent for 25-34 year-olds.

Among respondents who are currently using a service paid for by someone outside their household, the majority (57 per cent) say that they would stop consuming the service if subscription sharing was banned. Only 15 per cent say that they would take out a new subscription themselves if sharing was banned.

“Since the birth of subscription video on-demand, the sharing of user IDs and passwords with other households has been widespread. As SVoD providers look to implement tighter guidelines around sharing to boost subscriber numbers and revenues, consumers are being faced with the choice of paying more, moving to lower-cost ‘with-ads’ packages, or foregoing their access altogether,” said Paul Lee, Partner and Global Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications Research at Deloitte.

“Restrictions on sharing may well lead to a growth in subscribers and higher revenues. However, it may also reduce the total number of people viewing a show or film, reducing the degree of buzz around that content, in turn diminishing the overall appeal of a service. Word of mouth recommendations – in person or online – have long been key to SVoD’s popularity. That said, some sharers who currently state that they would go without if subscription sharing was banned may ultimately decide to pay for access, so as not to miss out on the latest series of their favourite show,” Lee added.

Deloitte’s research also found that access to SVoD in the UK has fallen by one percentage point to 73 per cent in 2023 in the last year, having peaked at 76 per cent in 2021. The fall in access was steepest among 65-75 years olds (to 49 per cent in 2023 from 53 per cent in 2022 and 57 per cent in 2021) whose usage of SVoD had surged during lockdown periods.

But the number of subscriptions per person is still rising, up from 2.46 in 2022 to 2.62 in 2023, an increase of 6.5 per cent. However, this growth is at a much slower pace relative to 2018-2021, when the number of subscriptions per respondent rose 60 per cent, from 1.45 to 2.33.

Deloitte’s research also revealed that one in five (21 per cent) SVoD subscribers have cancelled a service in the past 12 months, up from 19 per cent the previous year. The rising cost-of-living appears to have been a driver for this, with 27 per cent of respondents saying they cancelled due to the subscription being too expensive (23 per cent in 2022), and 24 per cent cancelling due to rising costs elsewhere (21 per cent in 2022).

Categories: Articles, Consumer Behaviour, Premium, Research, VOD

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