Advanced Television

Data: 52% UK SVoD subs search Netflix first for new content

April 25, 2024

Findings from marketing data and analytics company Kantar’s latest Entertainment on Demand (EoD) data and analysis on the UK’s streaming market suggest that Prime Video’s introduction of ads was met with significant resistance, leading to a notable subscriber exodus and dissatisfaction – although Prime Video has been quick to refute the data.

Meanwhile, AppleTV+ and Netflix have successfully engaged and retained their audience, with strong content offerings and stable performance metrics. These dynamics underscore the challenges and opportunities within the evolving SVoD market, where consumer preferences and responses to pricing and advertising strategies can significantly impact business performance.

Kantar’s EoD study in Great Britain uncovers the following key behaviours within the VoD market between January and March 2024:

  • Prime Video suffers as subscribers’ push back after being asked to pay more to avoid ads (see their rebuttal below).
  • AppleTV+ held onto its top spot in terms of share of new SVoD subscriptions in Q1 2024 with 16 per cent share
  • Disney+ took second spot in share of new subscriptions with historical drama, Shogun, performing strongly
  • Netflix is the go-to destination for inspiration on what to watch next, as 52 per cent of all British SVoD subscribers search Netflix first for new content
  • 19.9 million British households have at least one paid video streaming service in their household, virtually flat vs. the previous quarter (Q4 2023)

Prime Video endures a tough quarter(?)

Kantar believes Prime Video is the streaming service most impacted by seasonality, often seeing a drop in Q1 following a peak in Q4 driven by Christmas period Prime membership spikes. However, Q1 this year was particularly tough.

As from January 29th, Amazon introduced ads to its video streaming service, requiring existing subscribers to pay an additional £2.99 [€3.45]/month to remain ad free. The response was hundreds of thousands of subscribers ditching the service immediately. Key metrics, including share of new subscribers, total number of subscribers and proportion of Prime users engaging with Prime Video all fell significantly in the first quarter of 2024. Subscriber advocacy, as measured by Net Promoter Score, was the lowest it has been in over three years. The subscriber churn rate as measured in January 2024 was the highest for Prime Video measured by the Kantar study since it began in 2020.

Despite other high profile streamers introducing ad-tiers, Prime Video is the only major service whose subscribers display an active net dissatisfaction with the number of ads being served. The only positive was that Reacher made it as the #2 most enjoyed show over the quarter with the much talked about Saltburn coming in at number 8.

In response to the data, a Prime Video spokesperson said: “The findings of this research are incorrect. Prime membership continues to grow in the UK, with Q1 2024 membership up year-on-year and strong customer retention. Prime Video in the UK continues to see high customer engagement, with the number of people streaming growing year-on-year. The start of 2024 has been one of Prime Video’s strongest slates ever, with Fallout, Roadhouse, The Grand Tour, and titles such as Saltburn and Reacher from the end of 2023 continuing to acquire new customers and delight existing ones”.

AppleTV+ #1 for second consecutive quarter in share of new SVoD subscriptions

After reaching its highest ever share of new SVoD subscriptions during Q4 2023, AppleTV+ held onto top spot in the first quarter of the year with 16 per cent of market share. Slow Horses and Ted Lasso continue to act as a strong catalyst for attracting new subscribers, whilst WW2 series Masters of The Air accounted for 12 per cent of new title driven subscriptions. Almost half of AppleTV+ new subscribers joined to view a specific title in the quarter.

AppleTV+ is managing to reach a far wider audience than seen previously, with the majority of its subscriber gains seen in the 45–54-year-old age bracket, reducing its previous heavy reliance on younger audiences. Free trials continue to bolster AppleTV+ numbers, but the proportion paying for the service has risen for the last nine months. There are signs churn rates are being managed more effectively, with a decline seen every month throughout Q1 2024.

Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen captivates Brits

The Gentlemen on Netflix has proved to be a major hit for the streaming platform, as both the most watched and most enjoyed SVoD title during March. Netflix saw a strong quarter of new subscriber additions, holding 15 per cent of all new SVoD additions in the first quarter, a +5 per cent rise vs. the previous quarter. Netflix churn remained steady in the quarter and the lowest in the category. Customer advocacy at Netflix continues to build, and it remains in top place since overtaking Disney+ in Q3 2023.

Netflix is the go-to destination for new viewing inspiration

Despite significantly increased competition in the British SVoD market, one of Netflix’s strongest but least talked about superpowers, its place as the first destination consumers go to discover new content, remained as strong as ever over the year. Moreover, 52 per cent of all British SVoD subscribers go to Netflix first when they are looking for inspiration for something new to watch, up 1 per cent vs. the same period a year ago. Significantly, 60 per cent of Netflix subscribers who have multiple SVoD services in their household consider it to be their most important service, +1 per cent vs. a year ago.

“In the first quarter of 2024, we’ve seen stark contrasts in strategy and subscriber response among major players,” notes Dominic Sunnebo, Global Insights Director at Kantar Worldpanel. “Prime Video, for example, faced significant challenges as it introduced an ad-supported tier, resulting in notable subscriber churn and dissatisfaction. In contrast, AppleTV+ has successfully held onto its leadership in new subscriptions, driven by compelling content and an expanded demographic reach. Netflix continues to excel as the first port of call for British consumers seeking new and engaging content, with strong subscriber retention and growth. These trends underscore the critical importance of understanding consumer preferences and the impact of service changes on subscriber behaviour and market positioning,”

Categories: Advertising, Articles, Broadcast, Consumer Behaviour, Markets, OTT, OTT, Premium, Research, VOD

Tags: , , , ,