Apple TV+ Takes Largest Slice of UK SVOD Signups

Dan Meier 01 February, 2024 

Apple TV+ has knocked Disney+ from its perch as the SVOD service with the highest share of new subscribers in the UK, according to Kantar data from Q4 2023.

Kantar’s Entertainment on Demand (EoD) research showed Apple took an 18 percent share of new signups during the quarter, followed by Amazon Prime Video (16 percent) and Disney+ (14 percent).

The data revealed that 19.8 million UK households had at least one paid SVOD service in Q4, which was flat compared with Q3. Kantar’s figures reflect the share of signups for each service during the quarter.

It is worth noting that Apple TV+ still has a much smaller core of subscribers, with around 2 million UK subs, compared to Amazon’s 13 million and Disney’s 7.6 million. There is also much less content available on Apple TV+, the 194 titles dwarfed by its streaming rivals.

Quality over quantity

But Kantar cites Apple’s content as a key driver for the subscriber surge, highlighting British shows as a major draw in the UK market. The research found that Slow Horses and Ted Lasso drove almost 30 percent of new signups during Q4, suggesting regional output still holds sway in an increasingly international content landscape.

The study found that 36 percent of new Apple TV+ subscribers joined explicitly to watch a particular series or film. And despite the relatively limited content slate, subscribers rate the quality of content on Apple TV+ higher than any other major service.

The research firm also credited Apple’s strategy of offering free trials. According to the study, 39 percent of new subs cited the trial offer as a significant factor in using the service.

“The remarkable surge in AppleTV+ subscriptions during Q4’23 underscores the undeniable appeal of British TV shows which had strong impact on Apple TV+’s new subscriber figures,” said Dominic Sunnebo, Global Insight Director, Worldpanel Division at Kantar. “Slow Horses and Ted Lasso drove almost 30 percent of new subscribers exemplifying Apple TV+’s commitment to delivering top-notch content that resonates with regional audiences.”

Netflix’s reign continues

Kantar additionally tracks the most-enjoyed titles across all SVOD services. Slow Horses, the Gary Oldman-led Apple TV+ show, was placed fourth in the December rankings, while Netflix’s The Crown came out on top.

Although Netflix’s share of new signups was lower at 10.6 percent, the streaming giant boasts high customer loyalty and low churn rates. According to the research, only 3 percent of Netflix subscribers plan to cancel their membership in the next quarter, compared with 15 percent on Apple TV+.

Disney+ also saw churn rates spike in December, with those who cancelled their membership citing infrequent use (29 percent) and price increases (13 percent). Kantar further noted the end of a three-month £1.99 trial period, which saw a surge of signups in Q3. But Disney did make it into the top three titles, with Loki taking third place.

Meanwhile on Paramount+, Yellowstone proved the biggest selling point, with 18 percent of new signups citing the Western soap as the reason they joined.

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