Almost 800,000 UK households canceled their subscriptions to Netflix or Amazon Prime Video between April and June, as the cost of living crisis forces streaming fans to reduce the number of services they pay for to just a few favourites.
The number of households with access to at least one subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service fell from 19.57 million in the first quarter to 19.19 million at the end of the second, a net decrease of 382,000, according to the latest survey. of the Broadcast Audience Research Board (Barb).
The British survey figures follow two quarterly reports on subscriber losses from Netflix – which has had tens of billions wiped off its market value after losing 1.5 million customers so far this year – the first drop in sign-ups in a decade for the UK’s most popular. paid streaming service.
Between April and June, 206,000 households dropped their subscription to Netflix, which has raised its subscription price twice in the past two years, reducing the streamer‘s customer base in the UK from 17.29m to 17.08m.
Netflix – which spends $17bn (£14bn) making and licensing shows each year, including more than $1bn in the UK, its biggest market for productions outside the US – is home to hit shows including Stranger Things and movies like the Ryan Gosling blockbuster. The Gray Man.
Amazon’s Prime Video, which is bringing its own price hike for UK customers from September, reported the steepest decline among the most popular SVOD services in the UK.
The number of UK homes with access to Prime Video, which is accessed as part of Amazon’s Prime subscription service, fell by 589,000 quarter-on-quarter from 13.35m to 12.76m.
Sky’s Now TV fell by 43,000 homes, taking its subscriber base to 2.07 million homes at the end of the second quarter.
“The numbers we’re reporting today show that SVOD services are not immune as families work hard to make ends meet,” Barb chief executive Justin Sampson said.
“We do not ask households why they choose to add or remove subscriptions, although the sharp increase in energy prices in March/April should have been a catalyst for people to review all their monthly expenses.”
However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the UK streaming sector. Disney+, which continues to show growth worldwide, added 91,000 homes in the second quarter to take its customer base in the country to 6.62 million homes.
And Apple TV+, which stunned its much more affordable and more popular rivals by becoming the first streaming service to win the best picture Oscar for Coda earlier this year, added 43,000 homes to take its UK subscriber base to 1.61 million .
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In April, Kantar Worldpanel research showed that the number of UK households that had at least one paid for streaming service fell by 215,000 in the first quarter, marking the end of a decade of almost uninterrupted growth.
Barb said it recorded a small net drop of 100,000 households with access to subscription streaming services in the third quarter of last year, and has only ever recorded one further drop in quarterly numbers since it began its quarterly Establishment Survey in 2014.
“Our latest data confirms other sources that have reported declining subscription levels for SVOD services during the first half of 2022,” Sampson said.