Video streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime now have more subscribers than traditional pay TV services in the UK, new data from Ofcom has revealed.
Ofcom has also revealed that spending on TV by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 has dropped by nearly £1 billion over the last 20 years.
Nearly 40% of UK households now subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime or Now TV. The 15.4 million subscriptions have now passed the 15.1 million who pay for Sky, BT, Virgin and other satellite/cable providers.
I subscribe to Netflix, Amazon and pay a VM subscription too. I rarely watch the main channels, bar the news channels and quite often have BBC Parliament on in the background. I almost never watch the main terrestrial channels in the evening, in fact I'd rather watch paint dry. Clearly, I'm not alone according to Ofcom.
Ok, the BBC still gets funded by us, at least for the time being..., but ITV and CH4 have to fund themselves and Ch 5 is now owned by the American giant Viacom. With Netflix now paying over $13bn on content each year, how can our traditional broadcasters compete with the streamers?
In the BBC article (linked above) Ofcom suggests that the BBC, ITV and Ch4 work together and co fund programming. Ofcom also suggests that they also launch their own combined streaming service, something which Ofcom originally blocked when the broadcasters suggested doing this ten years ago. How things change... In North America, the BBC and ITV already run a streaming service called Britbox. Should they do something similar here?
Currently, all the giant media/Hollywood companies are merging together, including Rupert Murdoch selling his business', due to the threat to his business' by the streamers.
Will the likes of Netflix and Amazon eventually kill off our traditional broadcasters?