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Netflix Outpaces Amazon and Sky in UK Video Subscriptions

Tim Maytom

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Almost a quarter of UK households now subscribe to Netflix, which grew by 1.4m users in 2015 alone thanks to exclusive deals with broadcasters and a strong slate of original programming.

The video streaming service was used by 5m households in the UK by the end of 2015, having grown by over 70 per cent in a single year. It's far ahead of competitors such as Amazon's Prime Instant and Sky's Now TV, and also growing faster than either of them.

The figures, which come from the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB), are based on survey data so don't correlate exactly with the number of Netflix subscriptions, but they give a good idea of both the scale and reach that Netflix boasts in the UK market.

However, streaming services aren't replacing more traditional modes of paid-for TV, with Netflix and Amazon Prime households "significantly more likely to be cable or Sky subscription homes than average". This isn't true for Now TV households, as the service specifically targets those with only terrestrial services.

According to the survey, while 82 per cent of Netflix households only use a single streaming service, half of those signed up to both Amazon and Now TV also make use of another provider. The overall picture suggests that streaming services and multi-device households are making out viewing habits much more complex, and feeding our hunger for video content.

"Ten years ago, defining the platforms on which the British public consumed television was a comparatively straightforward task: television came in three flavours: terrestrial, satellite and cable, and was consumed on a TV set," wrote BARB in it's report. "Today the picture is a lot more complicated. Not only is television viewed on multiple screens, but there are multiple variations of satellite and terrestrial TV as platforms are making increasing use of multiple delivery methods."