Netflix and streaming service UK subscriber numbers overtake pay-TV

The rise and rise of subscription streaming services continues, with UK media regulator Ofcom revealing that memberships to the top three web-based video distributors (Netflix, Sky's Now TV and Amazon Prime) now outnumber legacy pay-TV subscribers in Britain.

Netflix, NOW TV and Amazon Prime amassed 15.4 million paying account holders, while pay-TV services including Sky's legacy satellite service only hit 15.1 million subscriptions.

Showing the gigantic rise of Netflix, it accounted for 9.1 million of that 15.4 million  figure – a rise of 32 percent.

Money matters

However, look at revenue generated by the two different distribution methods, and it's another story entirely. Video on demand services in the past year up to March 2018 made £895 million, a figure thats dwarfed by the £6.4 billion collected by Sky UK, Virgin TV, BT TV and Talk Talk TV.

But the shift is undeniable – as smart devices proliferate, broadcast television viewing sessions fell to just around three hours a week on average. YouTube, with its massive, varied and often amateur content maintains the biggest overall share of viewing time.

With the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and ITV committing less money to new content than it has over the past 20 years, and services like Amazon moving into spaces (such as Premier League football coverage) traditionally dominated by traditional broadcast TV players, it's starting to appear increasingly bleak for the old guard.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.