Wednesday 27 November 2019 11:56 am

UK households to splash out an extra £600m on streaming

British households are willing to pay an additional £600m each year to stream their favourite films and TV shows following the arrival of a spate of new services, new research has revealed.

While Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV have so far held dominant positions in the UK, they will soon be competing with the likes of Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus and Britbox.

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Just over 60 per cent of households currently watch streaming services, rising to more than three-quarters of 18 to 34-year-olds, according to data from uSwitch.

Consumers said they will budget £15.50 a month for streaming services once the new competitors have been rolled out in the UK – a monthly increase of £3.

The broader range of content is also likely to convince more viewers to fork out on streaming, with only four per cent planning to stick to free channels in the future, compared to the current figure of 21 per cent.

Netflix is currently the most popular option, used by two-thirds of respondents, while the licence-fee funded BBC iPlayer came in second place with 58 per cent. Just under half of viewers said they use Amazon Prime.

But despite Apple TV Plus and Britbox launching earlier this month, and with Disney Plus set to follow in March 2020, more than half of consumers expected that market leader Netflix will continue to have the best content.

The UK’s most popular streaming services

PositionStreaming ServiceUse by UK streaming fans
2.BBC iPlayer58%
3.Amazon Prime44%
4.Disney Plus (prospective)9%
5.Apple TV Plus6%

While the surge in new services gives viewers an ever-greater choice, it also raises concerns about so-called subscription fatigue.

Three-quarters of consumers said they feared that watching their favourite shows was about to get a lot more expensive, while a fifth believed they were likely to miss out on their favourite shows in the future as a result.

“Some telly addicts might feel like a kid in a sweet shop at the thought of all the streaming services that will soon be available to them,” said Dani Warner, head of streaming at uSwitch.

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“But the increase in competition created by the streaming wars may have a downside for consumers, who could find their favourite shows are scattered across countless subscriptions that, once combined, may cost far more than people are willing to pay.”

He added: “In a few years, we may look back fondly on a time when we could watch Friends, The Avengers films, The Office and much more with just one Netflix subscription fee.”