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Streaming overtakes pay TV

netflix on monitor - streaming overtakes pay tv

For the first time ever in the UK video streaming overtakes pay TV. Subscriptions to streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon have overtaken traditional pay TV channels such as Sky and Virgin.

The change marks a major shift in the UK’s viewing habits, communications regulator Ofcom said.

The total number of UK subscriptions to the three most popular online streaming services – Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV – has reached 15.4 million.

It has overtaken, for the first time, the 15.1 million subscriptions for pay TV, which includes Sky (excluding Now TV), Virgin TV, BT TV, TalkTalk TV and YouView households.

It came as a first was also recorded in the music industry, where revenues from online streaming subscriptions exceeded physical sales for the first time.

netflix on laptop - streaming overtakes pay tv

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Music streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify have been soaring in popularity.

Ofcom said that total retail music sales grew by 6% between 2016 and 2017, driven by a 38% increase in online streaming service subscriptions to £577 million.

A 7% decline in the sale of physical formats, such as CDs, to £470 million meant that for the first time, subscription revenues are larger than physical sales.

There has been a 25% drop in sales of music downloads.

For the first time, in the first quarter of 2018, more than half of all radio listening hours (50.9%) were through a digital platform – DAB, online or through digital TV.

The report also mentions UK cinema admissions, saying that they have remained relatively unchanged at around 170 million since 2002.

This suggests going to the cinema is still an experience relished in the UK, despite the growth in streaming services, in contrast to the picture in the US, where sales are down.

No mention of the BBC in the report though. Still millions of licence payers of course. But how many would choose to pay the licence fee if they had a choice? I know my wallet would stay in my pocket.

Let us know if you stream or watch pay TV. Or maybe you do both.

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