More Britons are now subscribing to TV streaming services such as Amazon, Netflix and NOW TV from Sky than traditional cable and satellite TV for just the first time, said media regulator Ofcom Wednesday.
This shift in how TV content is received caused the revenue amount generated by pay-TV to drop, following a run of sustained growth for years, showed research.
Amazon, Netflix and NOW TV enticed 15.4 million new subscribers during the 2018 first quarter, surpassing the 15.1 million in contracts for pay-TV, said Ofcom citing survey data provided by BARB Establishment Survey.
However, traditional pay-TV, like the satellite services from Sky and the cable service at Virgin Media, generated significantly higher revenue that did the video streaming subscriptions.
Subscription revenue for pay-TV topped £6.4 billion during 2017, which was down year on year by 2.7%, but far ahead nonetheless of the £895 million that was generated by the streaming services, said Ofcom data.
Sky, Britain’s largest pay-TV business that sits center stage in a bidding war between two U.S. companies Comcast and 21st Century Fox launched NOW TV in 2012, aiming to attract those customers who were no longer interested in traditional contracts.
Ofcom CEO Sharon White stated that rapid change in what is being viewed and how it’s being viewed has had profound implications for the television industry in the UK.
She added that a decline has been seen in revenue for pay-TV, a drop in spending for new programs by broadcasters, and the expansion in global streaming giants.
However, she added that broadcasters in the UK were keen at adapting to new change through making quality programs and working together so more people are reached who have started to turn from TV, broadcasters in the UK can compete in today’s digital age.
The decline has continued in the amount of hours that are spent watching television on a television set, said officials at Ofcom. The figure now is 3 hours 22 minutes per day, which is down nine minutes from the 2016 total and 38 minutes since the 2012 totals were released.
More content is viewed today on mobile devices, with those between 16 and 34 years of age the leaders in that charge. Less than 50% of younger people’s total viewing on a daily basis of 4 hours 47 minutes is on broadcast content, while just less than one hour they spend on watching video broadcast on YouTube.