Amazon takes Prime spot in new UK SVOD sign-ups | Media Analysis | Business
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The UK version of the Q3 2020 edition of Kantar’s Entertainment On Demand research review has found that in a market still dominated by Netflix, Amazon Prime Video has scooped the lion’s share of new subscriptions with Disney+ feeling pressure.
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Based on a longitudinal panel of 15,000 consumers and boosted by 2,500 new subscriber interviews each quarter, the Entertainment on Demand service is designed to help the broadcast industry and investors understand the full consumer journey for digital video subscription services.

And in the three months to September 2020, the new study saw the UK subscription slowdown continued, with just 3% of UK households take on a new subscription. In addition, 12% of new subscriptions were switched, meaning they were taken by households who cancelled one SVOD service to make way for another, a two percentage point rise compared with the first quarter of 2020.

Amazon Prime Video secured 51.0% of new SVOD sign ups in the quarter driven by an increase in Prime Membership and, just six months into availability, engagement for the Disney+ direct-to-consumer service under pressure as schools return though it did capture 15.4% of new subs. Overall, Netflix held steady providing four of the top five most enjoyed shows with The Fall a consumer favourite and despite its near ubiquity captured 12.3% of new subs. AppleTV+’s share was flat at 2.7% of new additions in Q3.

“Q3 saw a further drop in the number of GB households taking out a new SVOD subscription in the to just 3.0%, or a little over one million, indicating consumers are tightening their belts as the economy comes under sustained pressure,” commented Dominic Sunnebo, senior vice president at Kantar, Worldpanel Division.

Drilling deeper, Kantar noted that Amazon Prime Video continues to benefit from being integrated with Prime Membership, with Amazon Prime subscribers rising to 49.6% of households in Q3 2020, up from 45.0% in Q1. Amazon was found to be driving the highest level of direct switching in the industry, with 14% of Prime Video subscribers transferring from another provider. Now TV has become a key source of new customer acquisition. The heavily promoted ‘The Boys Season 2’ came out as the #2 title most enjoyed across all SVOD subscribers in Q3 2020, helping boost Amazon further. An increase in satisfaction with the amount of original content and variety of TV series has helped Prime Video edge past Disney+ to become the #2 most recommended service, after Netflix.

The Fall was the most enjoyed title across all SVOD services, with Lucifer, The Umbrella Academy and Ozark rounding out the most enjoyed Netflix SVOD titles in Q3, highlighting the service’s domination of top content. Bundle deals continue to be a driving force in Great Britain, making up 16.8% of all new SVOD subscription in the third quarter, with Netflix + Sky TV the most popular overall package, followed by O2 + Disney+ and BT TV + Now TV.

Even though it had flat growth, AppleTV+’s overall subscriber numbers continue to edge up. Apple continues to play to its strengths and consumers rate the TV interface highly, but overall advocacy levels are brought down by more negative views on volume of new release films and number of classic movies. Planned cancellation is higher than the industry average and among those who plan to cancel, 52% state they are not prepared to pay once their free trial is over. This said Kantar was a key challenge Apple was seeking to overcome by announcing a three month extension to the 12 month trial of AppleTV+ with a hardware purchase.

The number of Disney+ users classed as low intensity usage rose from 40% in Q1 2020 to 61% in Q3 2020. The service’s quarter-on-quarter churn rate in Great Britain is currently 7.8%, more than double Netflix at 3.0%. The Mandalorian continues to be a bright spot for Disney+, with 22.5% of new subscribers citing it as the key reason they subscribed. Mulan, which requires both a Disney+ subscription and a one-off payment of £19.99 to watch, was cited by 2.4% of subscribers, slightly lower than the equivalent for the USA.