Two thirds of households in the United Kingdom now have an online video subscription service. Two thirds of them subscribe to more than one service. The market leader is Netflix, with an estimated 16.8 million homes in the United Kingdom. The latest figures show the continuing growth in online video subscriptions.

The BARB establishment survey researches the television and video services available in households and the results are representative of the population. It is based on over 1,000 interviews a week.

In the absence of detailed figures from companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Sky, it is the best estimate that we have of the adoption of online video subscription services in the United Kingdom.

Due to restrictions in carrying out fieldwork during the coronavirus pandemic, the results for the second quarter of 2021 are the first released since the third quarter of 2020.

The results show that access to online video subscription service has continued to increase.

There are now 18.8 million homes with an online video subscription service, which is 66% of homes, up from 17.4 million or 60% in the third quarter of 2020 and 49% a year earlier.

It should be noted that BARB has extended its definition to include users with access through a trial period or a day pass.

With that in mind, the number of homes with access to subscription services has risen by 1.5 million in the United Kingdom in six months.

The number of Netflix homes has increased to 16.8 million, up by more than 1.5 million in six months. That represents nearly nine out of ten homes with an online video subscription service.

Amazon Prime Video gained more households than Netflix, adding over 2.3 million homes to reach 12.5 million. Access to Amazon Prime Video is bundled with the Amazon Prime membership, which includes free delivery on many Amazon purchases.

Disney+ is estimated to be in 4.8 million households, up by a quarter in six months, having launched in March 2020.

NOW from Sky is available in 2.3 million homes, by the new BARB definition, which includes those with access through a day pass. Last time BARB reported NOW numbers was in the first quarter of 2020, when there were 1.6 million, but that did not include those with day passes.

With the overall growth lower than the aggregate growth for individual services, it’s also clear that more homes have multiple online video subscriptions. The proportion of homes with an online video subscription service that subscribe more than one service has risen to 65%, up from 58% since the third quarter of 2020.

BARB establishment survey: online video subscriptions 2021 Q2

BARB is planning to offer daily viewing data for online video subscription services, including Netflix and Amazon, which otherwise provide only very limited viewing data.

“BARB will provide even more insight with the launch of daily viewing data for these and other streaming services later this year,” said Justin Sampson, the chief executive of BARB. “This development reinforces our ability to meet the industry’s need for a trusted and impartial audience-measurement currency”

BARB, the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board, is jointly owned by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky, and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

Unfortunately, BARB has decided to reduce the availability of published data, including the full results of the establishment survey.

BARB now publishes audience figures for what it calls ‘four screen viewing’, which includes computers, tablets and now smartphones, but no longer breaks these down by type of screen.

This measurement is based on router meters installed in our panel homes, which is only able to measure viewing within the home.