Fifth of UK households signed up to streaming services during lockdown, report finds

Disney Plus emerged as one of the biggest names in streaming during this period.

Close-Up View of Hand Pointing Remote Control at TV

One in five UK households have signed up to a streaming service during the coronavirus lockdown, according to a new report on consumer behaviour.

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Market research firm Kantar found that roughly six million households took the plunge into a new streaming subscription and there were certainly plenty to choose from – including a major new contender.

A huge 52 per cent of the signups were for Disney Plus, a service which finally arrived on British shores on 24th March, several months after its launch in the US.

Interestingly, 36 per cent (2.2 million) of the new memberships were taken up by people who had never subscribed to a streaming service before, perhaps encouraged by lockdown restrictions on what they could do with their leisure time.

The data was collected using a huge panel of 15,000 consumers, finding Apple TV Plus to be lagging slightly behind the pack in terms of viewer engagement.

It was found that original series’ made by the tech giant, such as The Morning Show and Mythic Quest, spent comparatively less time on TV screens, which may be caused by the need to purchase specialist hardware to stream easiest.

Kantar’s senior vice president Dominic Sunnebo told BBC News: “By trying to drive Apple TV sales in the meantime, they’re continuing to generate revenue and biding time to broaden their catalogue of content.”

Unsurprisingly, the “most enjoyed” piece of content to drop during lockdown was Tiger King, Netflix’s documentary series which became a global phenomenon, revealing the strange rivalry between zookeeper Joe Exotic and activist Carole Baskin.

In total, there is now an average of 2.3 streaming subscriptions per household in the UK, as audiences are forced to choose between Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, NOW TV, Disney Plus, BritBox, Apple TV Plus and even more niche offerings.

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