Almost half of UK film lovers prefer watching new release movies on Netflix over going to the cinemas, according to data released today.
The survey from consumer profiling firm GlobalWebIndex reveals that 46 per cent of Brits would rather watch a film from the comfort of their own home on than head out to the cinema.
Last year Netflix spent an estimated $13bn on content, about $4bn more than the year before. The extra spending alone could pay for all the BBC’s programming.
Its huge surplus of cash meant it regularly outbid traditional Hollywood studios and TV networks for the most-wanted scripts.
As a result, the company released big-name films direct to consumers through its subscription streaming service, disrupting the silver screen in the same way it did television. Last year, it added 82 original films on the website – more than Warner Bros, Disney and Sony released in cinemas combined.
One of last year’s most popular releases, Birdbox, a post-apocalyptic thriller starring Sandra Bullock, was seen by 45m accounts globally within its first week alone, according to Netflix.
Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, a black-and-white drama that follows the life of a maid in Mexico, was released simultaneously on Netflix and cinemas at the same time last year. The film has been nominated for 10 awards, including Netflix’s first ever best picture Oscar nomination.
Cinemas are still the number one choice in the UK, with 48 per cent of Brits preferring the silver screen to Netflix. But the closeness of the figures shows how much territory the internet giant has gained since three years, when the company began releasing original films.
Chase Buckle, a trends expert at GlobalWebIndex, said: “Cinema no longer dominates as the destination for first-time film viewing.
“The coming years will no doubt see the introduction of more non-traditional production of films take to the spotlight as compelling content increasingly takes centre stage in video.”
Nearly 40 per cent of UK households now subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime or Sky's Now TV, surpassing the number of traditional pay-TV subscribers last year.