Streaming services add 4.6m new subscribers during UK lockdown – The Guardian

Survey reveals extent to which ‘stay at home’ advice has benefitted Netflix and others
Almost 5m British households have signed up to streaming services since the coronavirus lockdown began, as the nation turns to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ to alleviate the impact of the restrictions.
There have been an estimated 4.6m new signups to subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) offerings since much of normal British life ground to a halt in late March, according to research.
The lockdown has provided the perfect launch conditions for Disney+, which debuted in the UK on 24 March, a day after Boris Johnson ordered the nation to stay at home.
Disney+, which launched with titles including the $100m (£82m) live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian, is estimated to have attracted 1.6 million subscribers in the UK in its first month. The research found that 85% of the Disney+ subscribers say they will keep using the service after the health crisis is over.
“With a further 13% of people who have not yet tried Disney+ expressing an interest in trying it, the device could be well past 2 million subscribers in the near future,” says the report by Oliver and Ohlbaum Associates.
The survey found that a quarter of people were more willing to consider subscribing to a streaming service during lockdown than before the crisis.
“The appetite for fresh entertainment during lockdown when content from traditional channels has been exhausted, along with increased demand for TV content at all times of the day, is contributing to consumers re-evaluating SVOD services,” the report’s authors conclude.
Streaming services are also attractive in their low cost and flexibility. Subscribers get a one-month free trial and can cancel at any time, unlike most pay-TV packages with longer lock-in periods and much higher costs.
“They provide a potentially cheaper option to traditional pay-TV, something consumers are likely to become increasingly attuned to in the medium to long term,” the reports says.
In the UK, Netflix is the market leader with 12.4m subscribers, according to the most recent figures from TV measurement body Barb. Amazon’s Prime Video ranks second with just over 7 million subscribers.
Netflix’s first-quarter new global subscriber numbers were more than double its forecast at 15.8 million thanks to the global lockdown.
Disney+ has attracted 50 million subscribers worldwide in six months, although many have it free for a year due to distribution deals with telecoms and TV partners. Nevertheless, it took Netflix seven years to reach the same milestone after moving from DVD rental by post to streaming in 2007.
Netflix (standard tier): £8.99 a month
Content: Stranger Things, The Crown
Amazon Prime (based on cheaper annual tariff): £6.58 a month, or £79 a year
Content: Good Omens, Man in the High Castle, The Grand Tour
BBC TV licence (iPlayer): £13.10 a month, or £157.50 a year
Content: The Bodyguard, Line of Duty, Top Gear
BritBox: £5.99 a month
Content: Love Island, Gavin & Stacey, Victoria
Disney+: £5.99 a month, or £59.99 a year
Content: The Mandalorian, Loki, Star Wars, Avengers, Avatar
AppleTV+: £4.99 a month
Content: The Morning Show, shows from Oprah Winfrey, Stephen Spielberg


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