Kantar: Prime Video makes UK SVOD surge | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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On the heels of reporting a last quarter with sluggish net additions, Netflix is now potentially stalling in the UK market, according to research from Kantar, with Amazon Prime Video the clear growth winner and now expected to exceed Netflix’s total subscribers by Q4 2024.
kantar VOD UK Q4 25Jan2022
Kantar’s latest Entertainment on Demand research found that between September and December 2021, the number of video-on-demand (VOD) enabled households that subscribed to at least one video streaming service in the UK grew to 17.1million, up almost 400,000, quarter-on-quarter, representing 59% of households. Just 6.0% of households in the country took out a new video streaming subscription in the fourth quarter of 2021, slightly up on the same period in 2020 and just over a third of subscription VOD (SVOD) contracts taken out in the quarter were by households who were new to the SVOD category, with stacked subscribers (40%) now the largest single driver of new subscriptions.

Netflix’s Squid Game was the most enjoyed title in Q4, followed by Disney’s Hawkeye. Despite taking 45.0% share of new SVOD subscribers, big budget series, The Wheel of Time, was the only Prime Video title to make it into the top 10 most enjoyed titles across Great Britain, coming in fifth place.

Despite the success of Squid Game, the Netflix customer base in Great Britain essentially remained flat in Q4 2021 compared the previous quarter. It gained around 70,000 new subscribers compared with Prime Video which gained over 700,000 in the same period. Kantar calculated that Netflix’s share of new SVOD subscribers in Q4 was closer to that of AppleTV+, NOW or BritBox than it is to Disney+ or Prime Video. The Net Promoter Score of Netflix, a measure of subscriber advocacy, was down 3 percentage points over the year, although it saw an increase over the previous three-month period.

Kantar believes that Netflix appears to be reaching ‘peak penetration’ in Great Britain at around 43% of all households subscribing to or using Netflix. It suggested that those who want Netflix, already have it, whilst new buzz-heavy titles are not attracting new subscribers.

By contrast, Q4 tends to be a huge quarter for Amazon and 2021 was no different. Amazon persuaded another 3% of British households to sign up for a Prime subscription, meaning 56% of households now have access to Prime Video, alongside the multitude of other Prime offerings. It was therefore no surprise said Kantar that Prime Video secured 45.0% of new SVOD subscriptions in the holiday quarter. The analysis noted that in terms of share of actual subscribers, Prime Video was catching Netflix at an “astonishing” rate. In Q1 2020, there was a 30%-point gap between the two services; by December 2021 that gap had closed to just 11%. On current trends, Prime Video could be set to overtake Netflix in absolute subscriber numbers by Q4 2024.

Disney+ was found to have enjoyed a strong Q4, with share of new subscribers up 5% points vs the same period last year to 19.3%. Marvel-based miniseries Hawkeye was well received by subscribers, holding #2 position among most enjoyed VOD titles in the quarter, whilst overall Disney+ subscribers showed a significant increase in satisfaction with the number of New Release films made available on the service. Disney+ rounded out the year closing in on a quarter of VoD enabled households subscribing to the service across Great Britain.

“There are a number of growth options available to Netflix, but right now, it’s not employing any of them to great effect in across Britain,” said Dominic Sunnebo, global insight director, Kantar, Worldpanel Division commenting on the research. “2022 is therefore going to be critical to its growth strategy. Whichever option it chooses will create risks, but they will be needed to drive growth in this maturing market. In essence Prime Video is a service flying high in terms of subscriber growth but is struggling to engage its base to the same extent as some of its counterparts, relying instead on the wider pool of Prime services to create a sufficiently sticky bond with its customers. In fact, virtually the exact opposite problem to Netflix.”