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Video streaming: Lockdown sees fifth of UK homes sign deals

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Video streaming: Lockdown sees fifth of UK homes sign deals

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Disney + absorbed more than half of new subscriptions to online streaming services in the UK during the block, according to Kantar data

One in five families in Britain – six million – subscribed to an online video subscription service during the Covid-19 blockade, data suggest.

The majority of those enrollments, 52%, go to Disney +, according to market research firm Kantar.

The most appreciated content, however, was Netflix's exclusive documentary series, Tiger King.

AppleTV + struggled to attract viewers, however, according to the survey.

Kantar's data shows that the tech giant's TV service was popular on smartphone and tablet devices, but lagged behind competitors in terms of viewing the TV screen.

"It was a huge quarter for broadcast in the UK. Certainly, we can associate a lot of that with the current blocking situation," Dominic Sunnebo, senior vice president at Kantar, told the BBC.

Sunnebo also noted the instant popularity of Disney +, which was not released in the UK until March 24th.

"Of the people who are already in the video streaming industry, one in five now has a Disney + streaming subscription," he said. "This is unheard of."

There are currently an average of 2.3 online video subscriptions per family in the UK.

New to streaming

Although comparable data is not available for previous years, Sunnebo said that due to the launch of new services like Disney +, it was safe to assume that the average number of online video subscriptions has increased comfortably in the past two years.

He added that 36% of new subscriptions between February and April – 2.2 million – were made by people who had never previously subscribed to a streaming service.

Kantar's data is collected from a panel of 15,000 consumers and interviews with 2,500 new subscribers to streaming services each quarter.

Apple struggled to make the same impact with viewers, however.

Sunnebo argued that this was probably because the easiest way to access AppleTV + on a TV screen was by purchasing a separate device, the Apple TV media player.

Apple's strategy, he said, was to slowly rely on building an audience of viewers happy to pay for this hardware.

"In the meantime, trying to boost Apple TV sales, they continue to generate revenue and time to expand the content catalog," he added.

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