American Streaming Services Growing in the UK

While traditional television is on somewhat shaky ground in the United States, it’s still fairly solid in the United Kingdom thanks to iconic networks like BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. But some new data from Futuresource Consulting shows that streaming is on the rise across the pond – especially US based services. 

Through the end of June 2020, Disney+, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video have added over 6 million subscribers in the UK. Adding in the British-based options, it’s estimated that over half of homes in the UK subscribe to a streaming service.

“Disney’s timing was impeccable with Disney+ launching on the first day of full lockdown,” said Futuresouce analyst David Sidebottom in a statement. “Our forecasts indicate that the service will account for a significant proportion of the growth in the U.K. SVOD sector in 2020.”

Of course, a large part of that has to be attributed to coronavirus lockdowns that swept across the world. Disney+, debuting on the day lockdowns began, has already claimed the number three streaming spot with just over 4 million subscribers compared to 12.3 million for Netflix and 7.9 million for Amazon (for reference, the UK’s population is about 66 million). 

And just like stateside, these on-demand streaming services are benefitting from a lack of live sports.

While the “big three” American services do produce content specifically for their British markets, they face an uphill battle as one source estimated that the local, traditional networks produced over 100 times more original content that the US streamers.  

Even if the UK has a little tougher time cutting the cord entirely than America, it appears that streaming on its own (not as a cable replacement) is doing quite well. 

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