New Ofcom figures that show TV streaming services have overtaken pay-TV in Britain confirm that the way we consume media has “fundamentally changed”, a TV expert has said.
The number of Britons subscribing to TV services like Netflix, Amazon and Sky’s NOW TV, has overtaken traditional satellite and cable TV for the first time.
Streaming services attracted 15.4 million subscribers in the first quarter, ahead of 15.1 million pay-TV contracts.
But pay-TV subscription revenue of 6.4 billion pounds in 2017 was still well ahead of the 895 million pounds generated by video streaming services.
Commenting on how on-demand services have leapfrogged pay TV packages for the first time in the UK, Dani Warner, TV expert at uSwitch.com, says: “For the first time in the UK, streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have leapfrogged more traditional pay TV packages – confirming that how we consume media has fundamentally changed.
“On the face of it, this shift is being driven by the take-up of superfast broadband and the increasing affordability of the likes of connected devices, such as smart TVs and streaming sticks.
“Adding to this is the feeling that consumers don’t necessarily want to be chained to the broadcasting schedule. While the World Cup has certainly brought live TV to the forefront, viewers are increasingly choosing on-demand TV for the flexibility to watch what they want, when they want – all without having to wait a week between new episodes.
“What is evidently clear is that content is still absolutely king. It’s no coincidence that the decreasing spend among PSBs on original programming correlates with a decline in the amount of time people are watching broadcast television live.
“Despite some shaky results on Monday, Netflix continues to put content first with Originals like Queer Eye, Black Mirror and The Crown making for compelling and diverse programming, as well as earning them more Emmy nominations than any television network in 2018.
“Plus, it’s hard not to see the growing appeal of on-demand services like Netflix with packages starting at £7.99 a month – and no cancellation or setup fees – compared to rather more pricey, less flexible pay TV services.”