UK households forecast to spend extra £600MN a year on streaming | Media Analysis | Business
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With Apple TV+ and Disney+ already going great guns in the US and set to make a similar effect when they and other direct-to-consumer offer arrive in the UK to compete with establish SVOD rivals and BritBox, the UK streaming market is forecast by uSwitch.com to put on an extra £600 million.
Apple tv plus 11Sep2019
The survey from price comparison and switching service calculates that just over three-fifths of UK households (61%) currently watch streaming services, rising to more than three-quarters (77%) of 18- to 34-year-olds. Just over two-fifths of over-55s were found to have also signed up to at least one streaming provider. Netflix is currently the most watched service, used by two thirds (67%) of streaming fans, with the BBC iPlayer in second place with 58%, and 44% of viewers enjoying Amazon Prime.

uSwitch.com also found that a fifth (21%) of viewers only use free services such as the BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub, but those who paid for subscriptions services spent on average £12.50 a month on average. Just under a tenth pay £31 or more a month for multiple subscriptions. Viewers used streaming services more than five times a week on average, typically watching 7.8 hours of TV and films a week, while 6% paid for a streaming subscription they never use.

Of the new entrants, Disney+ was most popular, with 9% of viewers set to pay for a subscription, while Apple TV+ was backed by 6% and BritBox was favoured by 5% of streaming TV users.

Superhero series Loki was the series viewers were most excited about, with current US mega hit live action Star Wars drama The Mandalorian second, and Marvel Comics programme Hawkeye coming third, All three are exclusive to the Disney+ service. The most eagerly awaited Apple TV+ show was The Morning Show.

When asked about their likelihood of spending more on the new services, the survey found that on average consumers will budget £15.50 a month, an increase of £3 a month, for streaming subscriptions once the new services have been launched. Only 4% were planning to stick to free channels in the future, down from 21% who currently do so and clearly indicating the popularity of the direct-to-consumer offers. However, despite Apple TV+ and BritBox launching earlier this month, and with Disney+ set to follow in March 2020, more than half of consumers (51%) expect that market-leader Netflix will continue to have the best content.

Despite their intention to subscribe to new services, UK consumers were clearly intending not to splash out with abandon when the new services arrived. Three-quarters (74%) of consumers fear that watching their favourite shows is about to get a lot more expensive . Nearly a fifth (19%) believe they are likely to miss out on their favourite shows in the future as a result and just over a fifth (22%) said they would sign up for a free trial, binge-watch popular shows and then cancel before paying for a subscription, while a similar number (22%) said they would borrow a friend’s login details to catch up on exclusive films and programmes.

“Some telly addicts might feel like a kid in a sweet shop at the thought of all the streaming services that will soon be available to them,” commented uSwitch.com streaming expert Dani Warner.

“But the increase in competition created by the streaming wars may have a downside for consumers, who could find their favourite shows are scattered across countless subscriptions that, once combined, may cost far more than people are willing to pay. Binge watchers need to get savvy and no longer just sign up to a service for life, but instead embrace streaming switching: sign up to a service and then, once you have watched the shows you want to see, end your subscription until you need it again.”