Almost one MILLION Brits have cancelled their subscriptions to streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ so far this year amid the cost-of-living crisis, report reveals

  • Report shows UK households are cancelling their video streaming subscriptions
  • UK households with at least one subscription has dropped by 937,000 this year 
  • Brits are turning away from streaming due to cost of living and ‘content fatigue’

Almost one million Brits have cancelled their subscriptions to video streaming services so far this year amid the cost-of-living crisis, a new report reveals.

According to London analytics firm Kantar, the number of UK homes with at least one paid-for video subscription fell by 937,000 between January and September.

In the last quarter alone – between July and September – 234,000 British households have ditched video streaming. 

The public are being forced to cancel subscriptions to the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ to pay for energy, food and mortgage bills.

But the public is also a victim of ‘content fatigue’ – a sense of being overwhelmed by the amount of content available to stream. 

The news come shortly after Netflix announced that its new ad-supported tier will cost £4.99 per month and be arriving in November.  

British households are giving up on services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ to pay for energy, food and mortgage bills (file photo)

UK HOUSEHOLDS DITCH VIDEO STREAMING IN 2022

January-March: 215,000

April-June: 488,000

July-September: 234,000

Total: 937,000

Figures are the fall in the number of UK households subscribed to at least one video streaming service.  

‘One million households have stopped streaming,’ Dominic Sunnebo, global insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, told the Guardian. ‘The reason people are cancelling is the need to save money.

‘Consumers looked to have reached a stage where they had mostly cut the services they needed to cut and could manage that.

‘But what we have seen over the last few weeks and the impact on people’s finances means there may be more downward pressure in the final quarter this year.’ 

Sunnebo also said there are other ‘dynamics at play in the market’ for cancelling subscriptions, such as ‘content fatigue’, experienced by some viewers.

Between July and September 2022, the number of British households subscribed to at least one video streaming service fell to 16.18 million – a drop of 234,000 compared to the quarter prior (April to June).

Despite being the world’s biggest streaming service, in the UK, Netflix took just a 2.1 per cent share of new subscribers from July and September.

This was less than Prime Video (29.4 per cent), Paramount+ (24.6 per cent), Disney+ (17.5 per cent), Apple TV (3.4 per cent) and more. 

The third quarter saw the release of two hugely-anticipated series, Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Prime Video, and the Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, available on NOW. 

According to Kantar, the two titles were top of the list of most-enjoyed video content over the quarter, but they failed to reverse the trend of households giving up on streaming. 

‘The most recent quarter saw two of the most anticipated releases of the year, they ranked as the top two most enjoyed pieces of subscription video-on-demand content during the period,’ said Sunnebo. 

‘And yet we still saw a continuation of the negative trend of the market getting smaller.’ 

The third quarter saw the release of two hugely-anticipated series, Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Prime Video, and the Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, available on NOW. Pictured, Morfydd Clark in a scene from ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ on Amazon Prime Video

This image released by HBO Max shows Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in a scene from ‘House of the Dragon’, a prequel to ‘Game of Thrones’

While UK households are increasingly giving up streaming services, the number of overall subscriptions is actually rising. 

Kantar said the total number of video-on-demand subscriptions in the UK rose to 28.2 million, a rise of 108,000 compared with the previous quarter.

This was partly driven by the arrival of Paramount+, which launched in the UK in the summer.

According to Kantar, Paramount+ enjoyed a successful launch and is already the fifth-largest video-on-demand service in the country, leapfrogging both Discovery+ and AppleTV+. 

Paramount+, which launched in the UK in the summer, is already the fifth-largest video-on-demand service in the country

‘The launch of a new streaming service into the UK market has been relatively successful, suggesting that fresh content is still a key attraction for British viewers,’ Sunnebo said. 

Overall, more than five million UK homes still have the three most globally popular video streaming services – Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+. 

Netflix will be hoping it can ramp up new subscriber figures with the launch of a cheaper subscription tier next month that displays adverts.

The £4.99-a-month tier, Basic with Adverts, will show an average of four to five minutes of adverts per hour, with each advert 15 or 30 seconds in length. 

NETFLIX WILL LAUNCH £4.99 A MONTH SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE ON NOVEMBER 3 THAT MAKES VIEWERS SIT THROUGH 30-SECOND-LONG ADVERTS

Netflix has announced that its new ad-supported tier will cost £4.99 per month and be arriving in November. 

Called ‘Basic with Adverts’, the new tier will launch for users in the UK, the US and several other countries on November 3. 

Basic with Adverts will show an average of four to five minutes of adverts per hour, with each advert 15 or 30 seconds in length. 

The ads will play before and even during content, which could infuriate viewers if they interrupt a particularly dramatic or suspenseful moment of their show. 

At £4.99 per month, Basic with Adverts is £2 cheaper than the lowest-priced ad-free tier (Basic), which costs £6.99 a month. 

Netflix had originally said it would launch adverts in 2023, but it’s brought the launch date forward, allegedly due to dwindling subscriber numbers. 

Industry insiders suspected Netflix wanted to introduce ads before streaming rival Disney+ releases its own ad-supported tier in the US on December 8.  

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