Kantar: VOD market shows signs of recovery despite muted response to Netflix ad tier

Kantar: VOD market shows signs of recovery despite muted response to Netflix ad tier

The number of households that subscribed to at least one video-on-demand (VOD) streaming service rose to 16.24 million between September and December 2022, according to the latest report from Kantar.

That amounts to a quarter-on-quarter increase of 55,000 households representing 56% of the UK population.

The total number of streaming services subscribed to also rose by more than 300,000 in the quarter, led primarily by Prime Video which registered a 47.4% share of new subscriptions.

“Prime Video had a strong final quarter of the year, with an increasing number of households taking out Prime memberships and using the Prime delivery service in the run-up to the Christmas holidays,” commented Dominic Sunnebo, global insight director for Kantar’s World panel division.

However, the proportion of consumers who say they plan to cancel one or more streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) subscriptions in the next quarter rose to 12%, compared to 10% in Q3 2022, indicating short-term holiday subscribers may be quickly looking to cut back.

The impact of Netflix’s ad tier

Netflix, which launched its ad-supported tier in the UK in November, did not see a large bump in subscriptions as a result, as it held 7.5% share of new subscribers during the quarter.

Early data from Kantar finds that just 4% of existing Netflix subscribers downgraded, and under one in five new subscribers signed up for, the new, cheaper (by £2 per month), ad-supported tier during the month of December.

Meanwhile, newcomer Paramount+ continued to add new subscribers, drawing even with Netflix for share of new sign-ups in Q4.

Disney+, which had an exceptional year in Britain, maintained its subscriber growth in Q4, albeit at a slower rate. The dip was linked to declining subscriber satisfaction with the number of new release films dropping to its lowest point through the year.

Top most-enjoyed content during the quarter included Netflix’s hit titles Wednesday and The Crown, while Andor and The White Lotus were well-received on Disney+ and NOW, respectively.

One in 10 new Netflix subscribers in December specifically cited Wednesday as their reason for signing up; meanwhile, Amazon Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power continued to draw new customers during Q4, with 15% of their new subscribers naming it as their reason for signing up.

However, Apple TV+ beat out both Netflix and Disney for subscriber satisfaction score for ‘quality of shows’.

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