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UK SVOD market loses nearly 0.5m subscribers

The UK subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) market saw almost half a million households cancel their paid-for streaming services in the second quarter of 2022, according to data from Kantar.

In total, 1.66 million SVOD services were cancelled by 488,000 UK households, adding to the 1.51 million cancellations from 215,000 households seen in the first quarter of year, as the cost-of-living crisis causes people to consider their outgoings.

As you would imagine, the number one reason for cancelling SVOD services is saving money (36%). And only 50% of households agree or strongly agree that SVOD services deliver good value for money.

Younger households, which tend to be less financially secure, have seen the largest drop in SVOD penetration, falling 2.6% for those under 24 compared to a drop of just 0.5% in 55-64-year-old households.

Despite the reduction is paid-for services, those cancelling their subscriptions are still interested in streaming TV, with two-thirds of them continuing to use BBC iPlayer at least weekly.

“In Q2, we observed how British consumers continued to cancel subscriptions across the board,” said Dominic Sunnebo, Global Insight Director for Kantar’s Worldpanel division. “In terms of the TV streaming market, the decline in subscriptions is being driven largely by younger ages. Although, it is worth noting that this group often have a wider variety of entertainment sources, including BBC iPlayer and free services such as TikTok, suggesting that this age is still interested in viewing TV streaming, just for a lower cost.”

Kantar’s research also found that Disney+ has unseated Netflix as being the number one service for subscriber advocacy for the first-time ever. Netflix’s score fell over a perceived decline in value and the quality of shows on the platform, particularly due to the service’s price rises.

When asked about planned cancellation of Netflix, 27% of consumers cite price rises as their reason to cancel, while 46% point to wanting to save money.

On the other hand, Apple TV+ increased its share of the SVOD subscriber base to 9.9%, with consumer satisfaction at an all-time high with the amount of original content on the platform, and planned cancellation at an all-time low.

“Disney performed well in Q2 because of its broad and diverse content inventory whereas Apple TV’s success in the GB market came because of focusing on local content, such as popular British TV shows,” said Sunnebo. “With Netflix announcing its partnership with Microsoft to build an advertisement-supported tier of its streaming service, it will be interesting to see how it performs in the next quarter against its competitors.”