Netflix Isn’t Killing TV But Complementing It

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SVOD services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are complementing traditional TV and not replacing it, claims the U.K.’s Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) (via Business Insider). The findings of BARB, which is responsible for TV rating data in the region, stand in stark contrast to the general belief that streaming companies are killing pay-TV.

SVOD services are not competition

On Tuesday, BARB published the U.K. Television Landscape Report showing that people who subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime Video have a higher propensity of subscribing to cable or other traditional paid-TV services like Sky, BT and Virgin Media. The report found that one-third of homes with cable connections have subscribed to Netflix as well, in comparison to just 13% of terrestrial-only homes.

So households with Sky TV or a cable connection are more likely to get Netflix or Amazon video subscriptions. Another finding is that in homes with these connections, usage of broadband services is more than 90%, compared to only 71% in terrestrial-only homes. Broadband is necessary for accessing services such as Netflix, claims BARB, which used a survey to come up with the findings. However, it is possible that some consumers use mobile data to access SVOD services.

Netflix well-ahead of others

The popularity of streaming services is increasing rapidly in the U.K. In the first quarter of 2014, just 14% of households had subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon or Sky’s Now TV, and by the end of the fourth quarter of that year, the share went up to 24%. More than 6.5 million households in the U.K. have subscribed to a video streaming service, suggested the survey. Of all the households surveyed, 4.7% said they didn’t have a traditional TV set.

BARB’s report says that in 2015 alone, 1.4 million of U.K. households subscribed to Netflix just to watch the popular series House of Cards. Since the figures from the TV rating firm are based on survey data, they will not correlate exactly with the number of Netflix subscriptions, but they do show the scale of Netflix’s reach in the U.K. and its lead as well.

“Netflix is by some margin the market leader and its growth continues to easily outpace the other services,” the report says.

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