Published: Thu, July 19, 2018
Culture | By Jeremy Gray

Streaming services overtake United Kingdom pay TV as viewing revolution gathers pace

Streaming services overtake United Kingdom pay TV as viewing revolution gathers pace

Today, Ofcom has announced that TV streaming services - such as Netflix, Amazon Prime TV and Now TV - now have more subscribers in the United Kingdom than traditional paid satellite/cable services.

Both services have seen price increases recently as well-Netflix raised the price of its top-tier 4K streaming plan by $2 and its mid-tier plan by $1 at the end of previous year, while an Amazon Prime annual subscription jumped to $119 in May (Prime Video is included in a Prime membership). Vudu launched its own ad-supported streaming service, Movies on Us, a few years ago as well. It certainly has the cash reserves, having generated $17 billion in cash previous year.

The findings come from Ofcom's Media Nations Report which also reveals that people are watching less TV, down an average of nine minutes in the past year.

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It will also set a precedent for companies planning to make similar deals, such as Fox and Disney. Prosecutors argued that AT&T could inflate the price of HBO for other content distributors.

"Today's research finds that what we watch and how we watch it are changing rapidly, which has profound implications for United Kingdom television", said Ofcom CEO Sharon White.

Ted Sarandos, a chief content officer at Netflix, in an earnings interview Monday, said original content is the future of streaming, according to Quartz. These challenges can not be underestimated. Half of all streaming subscribers pay for two or more of the services. "By making the best British programmes and working together to reach people who are turning away from TV, our broadcasters can compete in the digital age".

However, viewers aged 16-34 watched more non-broadcast than broadcast content - an average of 2 hours 37 minutes a day (54%) across all devices, compared with 2 hours 11 minutes (46%). Of 3,729 Brits polled by Ofcom, 46% said they never use such services. Free services like Tubi and Roku Channel have libraries of nonexclusive movies and TV shows, while Sony's Crackle combined shows from Sony's library with exclusive original programming and non-exclusive acquired shows. Some 11.1 million homes have at least one of Netflix, Amazon or Now TV.

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