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U.K. Sees Streaming Gains as Disney+, Apple TV+ Advance in Market

Joshua Thiede

Disney+ and Apple TV+ were the big winners in the U.K during the first quarter of 2022, according to the most recent Broadcaster’s Audience Research Board survey. Data also suggest that 13.2 million U.K. households subscribe to more than one streaming service, a 6% increase over the previous quarter.

As the U.K.’s TV audience measurement organization, BARB uses such surveys to gauge various characteristics of its citizen’s viewership, similar to Nielsen ratings in the United States. U.K. households with subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services increased to 19.57 million homes in Q1, equalling over 68% of households throughout the nation. Of these, 6.53 million homes had access to Disney+ while an additional 1.57 million had access to Apple TV+, a jump of 19% and 27% respectively compared to last quarter.

Even with those gains, Netflix continued to dominate the streaming space with over 17.2 million, or 88% of homes subscribing to the service. Trailing behind, Prime Video streams to 13.35 million with the Comcast/Sky Now TV service in the rear with 2.13 million households.

This data supports the trend that streaming services are continuing to make incredible headway in the European market. Conviva’s “State of Streaming” report showed a 20% increase in streaming viewership in the fourth quarter of 2021 in Europe. The study indicates that the current saturation of the American market and streamers’ pandemic-induced subscription gains across the pond are responsible for the steady increase of its Central and Eastern European (CEE) market share.

Streaming services are more than willing to fulfill Europe’s growing demand for content. Paramount+ launched in the U.K. and Ireland on Wednesday and HBO Max recently released its service in 15 countries across Europe. Similarly, AMC+ announced plans to launch its own service in the CEE market by 2023.

Netflix specifically is catering to its potential customers by pushing for local content as it expands its market share across the globe.

Even as the world returns to a somewhat pre-pandemic lifestyle, the CEE market is still ripe for streamers to gather new subscribers. With American households already reaching their saturation point with SVOD content, an expansion of worldwide, locally-sourced content may allow streamers to make even more headway into a still welcoming consumer landscape.

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