Netflix has been losing subscribers in the United Kingdom, as competition in the online video market grows. The estimated number of online video service subscriptions in Britain fell by over 167,000 to 29.44 million in the first quarter of 2023, with Netflix seeing the largest absolute losses in subscriber numbers and its largest quarterly loss so far, although it remains the most popular service of its type.

According to Kantar research, 7% of households in the United Kingdom cancelled at least one online video subscription in the quarter after Christmas, while 4% took out at least one new subscription.

The number of households in the United Kingdom that subscribed to at least one online video service fell by 144,000 to 16.10 million in the first quarter. That represents 55% of households. The number has declined from 16.91 million in the first quarter of 2022 and 16.95 million the first quarter of 2021.

Just 3 of the 10 most enjoyed online video titles were on Netflix in the first quarter of 2023, compared to 6 a year previously. Customer satisfaction for value for money also fell. The top reason given for cancelling an online video service was to save money.

Dominic Sunnebo, the global insight director at Kantar, commented: “Netflix consumers are increasingly questioning the value for money they get from their subscriptions and when consumer finances remain tight, this is translating into increased churn.”

Netflix accounted for just under 9% of new online video subscriptions in the first quarter of 2023, just behind Disney+ according to Kantar research.

Amazon Prime Video represented over 42% of new subscriptions, although the Amazon membership includes other benefits, like free delivery for many online purchases.

UK SVOD share of new subscriptions 2020-2023 Q1. Source: Kantar Entertainment on Demand

ITVX Premium, the relaunched paid version of the online video service from ITV, previously known as Hub+, and incorporating access to BritBox, accounted for 5% of new subscriptions. As well as the variety of TV shows, the ability to watch shows without adverts was a key attraction to ITVX premium subscribers, cited by 28% as a key reason for signing up.

The broader ITVX service delivered a total of a billion streams in the four months since it launched on 8 December 2022. In March 2023 it delivered 282 million streams, up from 100 million on the same month the previous year.

It sounds like a big number, but it is still significantly behind the BBC iPlayer, which delivered 7 billion streams in 2022, including 700 million in December.

ITV has yet to release any figures on the number of users of ITVX or paying subscribers to ITVX Premium.