According to the latest Media Nations report from Ofcom, streaming services in the UK have been able to increase their revenues by 20%, while subscriber numbers remain at a standstill.

Between all of the different streaming services, including Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, the combined turnover was £3.3 billion, 21.5% above last year, and double what it was three years ago.

The reason for the increased combined revenue is mainly down to the streaming services, including Netflix increasing prices.  Disney+ was one of the biggest earners, increasing its revenue by 40% to £383 million, while Netflix increased its revenues by 16% to £1.61 billion.

The report does, however, show that the UK market is “entering a phase of maturity that poses challenges for future growth and sustainability.” And that “Despite continued revenue growth, SVoD business models are under pressure as attracting and retaining customers becomes more challenging, with providers increasingly looking to identify new revenue-generating opportunities, better manage costs and focus on profitability,”

With the cost of living crisis hitting the UK, this has impacted on how many streaming services people sign up for, with 66% of the country now subscribed to a streaming service. Down 2% from the middle of the pandemic. Netflix is the most subscribed platform in the UK and can be found in 59% of households, with Amazon Prime at 45% and Disney+ at 25%.  Disney+ added an additional 746,000 households between the first and fourth quarters of 2022, taking its subscription base up to 7.1 million households.

The report also shows that there is a high level of overall satisfaction with streaming services, with 86% of Netflix subscribers, 82% of Disney+ and 80% of Prime Video. Netflix is now the third most popular destination for UK audiences to turn to after the BBC and ITV.

As expected, younger audiences are more likely to watch streaming services like Disney+, but older audiences generally watch less broadcast TV than in the previous year.    Disney+ continued to gain momentum with younger audiences, and its reach increased yearly by three percentage points, from 37% to 40%.   Older viewers are increasingly using streaming services, with take-up of Disney+ among online over-64s rising from 7% in 2022 to 12% in 2023.

This report from Ofcom shows audiences moving away from linear, down to 79% in 2022, which was at 90% five years ago. Younger audiences continue to shift towards streaming platforms, with a 21% drop in viewership year on year for audiences between 4-34.  With the growth of streaming services, the audience is becoming much more fractured, with fewer shows becoming huge draws for millions of viewers, as the UK had in the past.

The UK streaming market had a huge boost during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, which was naturally going to slow down when everyone returned to normal in 2022. With the cost of living crisis hitting the UK, we will likely see less growth in the future as more people start looking at reducing costs. But for Disney+, these results show that audiences continue to sign up to the platform and, more importantly, are generally satisfied with the available content.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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