Netflix shrugs off UK industry challenges to show resilience | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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As British households embrace increased streaming choices, 7% of took out a new streaming subscription in the second quarter of 2023, up from 5% a year earlier, with 19.97 million households having at least one VOD service, 68% of homes says research from Kantar.
Netflix tablet android ui 30March2023
The evidence-based insights and consulting company’s new Entertainment on Demand (EoD) data on the GB’s streaming market uncovered notable behaviours and findings within the Video on Demand (VoD) market between April to June 2023.

Key findings included Discovery+, Disney+ & Apple TV+ seeing the fastest growth in subscriber share over the quarter. The Night Agent on Netflix was both the most watched and most enjoyed SVOD title in June while Disney’s The Mandalorian was the second most watched and enjoyed title in June. Netflix's planned next quarter subscription cancellation increased quarter-on quarter to 4% from 3% of its total GB subscription base, off the back of password sharing restrictions.

The top reasons given for wanting to watch a SVOD programme in Q2 were “I want to relax after a long day”; “I want something to
lift my mood”; “I want a distraction to stop boredom”.

Yet the study also found that the Hollywood writers’/actors’ strike is set to challenge those lacking deep content back catalogues. Kantar observed that while consumers may not feel the immediate impact, the upcoming months will lead to a significant slowdown in new content releases, which is cited as being the main reason for over 40% of new SVOD services taken out by consumers.

Kantar added that considering that newly released shows are cited as the leading driver of new service adoption, the usual buzz surrounding the latest shows will undoubtedly experience a notable shift. It also said streaming services will face the immediate challenge of reshaping their priorities by implementing revised content release strategies and prominently featuring library content to retain their subscriber bases, which have already been strained by the ongoing cost of living crisis and so it expects to see the trend of releasing series episodes on a weekly basis accelerate.

That said, Kantar cautioned that a delicate balance will be crucial to keep viewers engaged and satisfied during this challenging period - a balance which will prove easier to manage for services which have sizeable back catalogues, like Netflix and Disney+.

Despite Netflix’s password sharing crackdown, next quarter’s planned cancellation rates only saw a mild increase to 4% from 3%.

Netflix also retained its dominance in overall viewing time, with almost half of subscribers accessing the service daily. A signal of
Netflix’s strong foundation in British households is that 52% of those with an SVOD subscription turn to Netflix first when they are looking to find a new series or film to watch. Prime Video trailed a distant second, with just 13% turning to Amazon’s streaming service when looking for inspiration. Despite this popularity, it’s important to note that only 3/10 most enjoyed titles in the quarter were Netflix releases.

"Streaming services will face a delicate balance to keep viewers engaged and satisfied during this challenging period, without necessarily having a plethora of fresh content to entice them with,” said Dominic Sunnebo, global business unit & commercial director, Kantar Worldpanel commentating on the study’s findings.

“A shift in content release strategies and a focus on back catalogues will be crucial to weather the storm. Moreover, we observe that Netflix has showed resilience in the face of changing industry dynamics, but households are diversifying their content preferences, exploring offerings from other streaming services like Apple TV+ and Disney+. With the cost of living crisis showing little sign of abating, it’s those services that can demonstrate the most value that are likely to emerge as clear winners. "