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UK video streaming market shows signs of recovery in last quarter of 2022

UK video streaming market shows signs of recovery in last quarter of 2022
By Reuters
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LONDON - The UK video streaming market showed a tentative recovery in the final quarter of 2022, with subscriber numbers edging higher after a sharp decline earlier in the year when cash-strapped households sought savings, industry data showed on Monday.

Market researcher Kantar said that between October and December the number of UK homes that had at least one paid-for video streaming service rose by 55,000 to 16.24 million, representing 56% of households.

The gains were driven mainly by Prime Video, AppleTV+ and Paramount+, rather than Netflix.

Kantar said 5% of British households took out a new streaming subscription during the final quarter of the year.

The recovery followed a period of 12 months when one million British households dropped out of the subscription video-on-demand market, as they prioritised spending on essentials, such as food and energy.

“Prime Video had a strong final quarter of the year, with an increasing number of households taking out Prime memberships and using the Prime delivery service in the run-up to the Christmas holidays," Dominic Sunnebo, global insight director, Kantar, Worldpanel Division, said.

However, the recovery may be short lived, Kantar added.

The proportion of consumers planning to cancel one or more video-on-demand services in the next quarter rose to 12% versus 10% in the third quarter of 2022, it said, indicating that short-term subscribers looking to cover the festive period could soon cut back.

Getting an accurate gauge of the UK economy is currently proving tricky.

Official UK retail sales data showed inflation-pinched consumers cut their shopping by the most in the key month of December in at least 25 years and consumer confidence levels are at historic lows.

However, several major British retailers, including Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer, reported better-than-expected Christmas sales, while airlines have reported strong bookings into summer.

Also, unemployment is close to its lowest in almost 50 years.

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