Due to the recent hike in energy prices and cost of living, UK households are reportedly cancelling streaming subscriptions. Citing a report from market research firm Kantar, the BBC states that 1.51 million subscriptions were cancelled in the UK in the first three months of 2022 alone. Roughly 500,000 people stated that they cut these services to save money for the higher cost of living in the region.
Although there was a spike in subscriptions during the height of the pandemic, the people who are planning to can subscriptions in order to save money jumped to 38% in the first quarter of 2022, compared to 29% in the same period last year. This was also the slowest quarter ever in terms of new subscribers.
The firm also noted that Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are the services which are least likely to be cancelled in UK households, whereas others like Disney+, Now TV, Discovery+, and BritBox experience a high churn rate. Overall, 58% of UK households are subscribed to at least one streaming service.
According to Kantar, Amazon's Reacher was the most watched show in the UK during the first quarter of 2022, followed closely by Netflix' Inventing Anna and Ozark. Interestingly, the market research company also noted that UK households are now more open to the idea of ads in streaming services, if it brings down the cost of the subscription:
[...] Netflix chief financial officer Spencer Neumann added fuel to the fire by saying in March "it's not like we have religion against advertising".
Data across Great Britain shows Netflix subscribers' attitudes to advertising are softening, with 44% now stating they don't mind seeing on streaming services if it makes them cheaper, a significant rise from 38% at the same point in 2021.
It remains to be seen if this trend will continue, but given the increasing costs all over the globe, streaming giants may have to figure out some ways to retain subscribers and attract new ones.