BARB: Disney+ was only SVOD platform to grow in Q4

BARB: Disney+ was only SVOD platform to grow in Q4

Netflix and Amazon Prime’s subscriber growth in the last quarter plateaued while Disney+ was the only one to grow, the latest data from BARB has shown.

At the BARB Briefing: 360° Audience View released today, the audience measurement company provided latest insights four months on from their “once in a generation update” to include the latter two services in its measurement.

In this update, they added three categories to their measurement: total broadcaster, total SVOD and AVOD and total video-sharing platforms which makes up total identified viewing.

BARB’s latest data found just over 19 million households in the UK have access to at least one subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, which is still mostly viewed on TV sets along with broadcaster TV, compared to video-sharing platforms like YouTube and TikTok proven to be more viewed on mobile devices.

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BARB’s data (above) shows that, between Q3 2021 and Q4 2021:

  • Netflix went from 16.69 million to 16.79 million SVOD households
  • Amazon went from 12.46 million to 12.57 million
  • Disney+ went from 5.24 million to 5.49 million
  • Now TV went from 2.04 million to 2.06 million

Where previously this viewing was listed as unidentified, Barb now measures all of these services specifically on the home WiFi networks of Barb panel members.

This means this covers home-viewing rather than out-of-home viewing, unlike for BVOD and broadcaster where BARB can tag programmes, so it is possible to measure their out-of-home viewing.

Broadcasters still made up the highest share of total identified viewing compared to video-sharing and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) and advertiser-funded video-on-demand (AVOD) platforms.

BARB noted peaks on Christmas Day for broadcaster viewing and on Saturdays for SVOD viewing.

BARB said they had reduced unidentified viewing from 30% to 10-12%, with this remaining unidentified viewing likely to be illegal streams and similar.

It also revealed the top 20 programmes in February 2022 across linear, broadcaster video-on-demand (BVOD) and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platforms.

Disney+ topped the BVOD/SVOD table with Encanto with 7.5 million viewers (aggregated average audience 4+).

However, these SVOD and AVOD programmes did not reach viewing figures hit by broadcaster channels, and within that commercial channels still came out as most-viewed.

Once linear channels were added into the top 20 list, ITV’s Trigger Point was the most-watched show in February 2022 with 9.7 million viewers (aggregated average audience 4+) and Encanto was the only SVOD show in the top 20.

Additionally, BARB compared different episode release strategies across Netflix’s After Life, BBC’s The Tourist and Disney+’s The Book of Boba Fett measuring viewing figures episode by episode over time.

For Netflix, the viewing figures are not deduplicated but showed significant drop-off as the show was released all at once to “binge-watch”.

The BBC’s hybrid windowing strategy which shows episodes on linear and video-on-demand showed drops in views on BBC iPlayer when the show was aired on traditional linear.

Disney+ weekly release strategy for The Book of Boba Fett led to consistent spikes in viewings but also seemed to bear out the hypothesis that some consumers wait until all of the episodes are released to watch them all in one go weeks after the first release.

BARB data also revealed the BBC and ITV dominated the top programmes of 2021, the top five most-watched shows of last year were as follows:

  1. European Cup Final- Italy vs England- combined BBC1 and ITV- 22.5m
  2. European Cup Semi-Final- England vs Denmark- ITV- 18.4m
  3. Line of Duty– BBC1- 15.8m
  4. Oprah with Megan and Harry– ITV- 14.8m
  5. Prime Ministerial Statement– April- BBC1- 14.3m

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