Shifting Tides: Streaming Set to Eclipse Traditional TV Subscriptions in the UK by 2025

The digital streaming revolution is reaching new heights in the UK as predicted expenditures on services like Netflix and Disney+ are set to outpace traditional paid TV packages by 2025, according to a recent report by PwC.

By 2025, UK consumers are projected to spend a whopping £4.2bn on subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) services. The lineup of offerings includes fan favourites like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and Apple TV+. The services host a diverse range of content, from blockbuster franchises like Star Wars and Marvel, to Lord of the Rings spin-offs, light-hearted comedies such as Ted Lasso, and reality TV show hits like Selling Sunset.

In contrast, traditional TV subscriptions from providers like Sky, Virgin Media, BT TV, and TalkTalk, are predicted to garner £4.1bn. This forecast represents a remarkable shift, as it’s only been 13 years since Netflix made its UK debut in 2012 and started reshaping the viewing landscape.

The Rise of Streaming

“It’s predicted that by 2025, SVoD revenues will surpass those of TV subscriptions, demonstrating a definitive move from linear TV to streaming,” says Dan Bunyan, a partner in PwC’s strategy team. “Major SVoD platforms continue to invest heavily in content rights and original productions to stay in favour with their audiences.”

Just last week, Amazon UK announced that it had doubled its investment in the country. This move bolsters production for shows like the Lord of the Rings prequel, Rings of Power. Meanwhile, Netflix revealed it’s splashing out about $1.5bn annually to create shows and films in the UK.

The PwC report underscores the meteoric rise of streaming services like Netflix. In 2018, consumers spent less than £1bn on streaming subscriptions, and the figures have only continued to soar. In contrast, the pay-TV subscriptions market has plateaued and is projected to decline.

Traditional TV Subscriptions: A Changing Landscape

In 2018, revenues from TV subscriptions stood at £4.9bn. However, they reached their zenith in 2022 and are anticipated to drop to £4.1bn by 2027. At that point, SVoD spending is expected to hit £4.7bn.

Sky is persistently pivoting away from its traditional satellite TV business, branching out into areas like broadband, mobile, smart TVs, and streaming through its own service, Now TV. They’re also incorporating former competitors such as Netflix into its own bundles. Last week, they launched a new smart camera feature allowing viewers to watch TV shows together remotely or conduct Zoom video calls.

Last year, Comcast, which had acquired Sky’s European business for £32bn in 2018, wrote down its investment by $8.6bn (£6.8bn). Rumours suggest the company is open to selling its Sky Deutschland business, with German media group ProSiebenSat.1 as a potential buyer.

Sky is thought to have around 9.1 million pay-TV customers in the UK, down from 9.78m in 2018, according to analysts at Ampere.

Overall, the UK pay-TV subscriber market is estimated to be 14.6m. In stark contrast, the number of SVoD subscriptions in the UK is estimated to be close to 45m, with many households subscribing to multiple services.

Source: The Guardian

Photo by Dima Solomin on Unsplash

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About S. Santos

👋 I'm a technology columnist and blogger with over 10 years of experience, currently serving as Blue Cine Tech's AV Editor. Specialising in gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology, my work has been featured in top technology blogs. I'm dedicated to breaking down the complexities of the latest tech trends, from explaining the intricacies of Dolby Vision to optimising your streaming experience. This blog serves as a platform for my ongoing exploration of the ever-evolving tech landscape. If you see me at industry events like CES or IFA, feel free to say hello.

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