It was a good end to 2017 over at Netflix HQ as they recently announced that worldwide subscriptions had now numbered 117 million, a rise of 8.3m in the final quarter, of which 6.4m from outside the US. Impressive growth by anyone’s standards.
So, clearly non-US growth is becoming a major revenue stream to Netflix, but where does the UK come in all of this. Well, BARB, has now released their latest data for quarter 4 2017. Arguably, one of the best estimatse of subscription numbers in the UK, their Q4 data is based on a sample of over 12,000 randomly selected households.
After a slow Q3 for all the major players, it seems the winter months, and potentially the Christmas and holiday season has rejuvenated interest. In the final 3 months of the year, BARB estimates that Netflix subscribers grew by 662k households to 8.1m homes overall, a quarterly growth of 8.8%. It further means that the UK represented around 10% of the entire of the non-US growth in subscriptions in the final quarter, suggesting the importance of the UK for it’s platform. The recent announcement of a tie-up with Sky just goes to prove this point.
Amazon Video likewise, saw an increase of 424k homes to a base now of 4.3m households, a whopping 11% quarterly growth. Now TV posted the most modest increase, of just 54k households, but that still means it achieved a year on year growth of an impressive 40%.
What this means for the UK, is that there are now over 10m homes in the country that subscribe to an additional SVOD service, as well as their traditional linear TV services. and the take-up doesn’t yet look like stopping.
Not yet in a majority of homes, but growing, SVOD services are now in over 36% of all homes, Netflix in 28.8%, Amazon Video in 15% and Now TV in a respectable 5%.
If rates continue, then in as little as 36 months, SVOD services could be in the majority of UK homes, a tipping point when it really can be said to be ‘mainstream’. Whether this will happen however is debatable of course. But what does seem to be clear, is that the need for additional content viewed in a non-linear fashion is becoming a staple part of our viewer preference, and this will almost undoubtedly have an impact on scheduled television for years to come.