Amazon’s growing video dominance is evident in new figures from Kantar Entertainment, which show that Amazon Prime snared nearly half of all new UK sign-ups to subscription video on demand (SVoD) services in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Bored Britain saw a bumper 1.3m new subscriptions to services such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime, which includes access to Prime Video, over the period as people turned to the telly to entertain them through the pandemic.
Amazon beats Netflix for new sign-ups in Q4
Through the fourth quarter, Amazon attracted 49% of all new subscribers to paid streaming services, equivalent to 635,000 households, leaving rivals such as Now TV and BritBox trailing in its wake.
Amazon's haul stood nearly three times greater than Netflix, which claimed a comparatively paltry share of 17% despite launching hit content such as The Crown and the Queen's Gambit.
Uniquely Amazon Prime offers members more than just video with perks such as free deliveries on purchases adding to its appeal, though the video component is gaining traction as the proportion watching content rose to 62.6%, up from 60.5% in the previous quarter.
But Netflix is by no means beaten with the market leader posting another record year of growth for the world as a whole, adding 8.5m new subscribers for the quarter.
Why it matters
Amazon has carved out a streaming niche for itself as a bastion of live sport, an arena Netflix has purposefully shied away from, a decision which has drawn viewers seeking more than just general entertainment.
Amazon has now aired 20 live Premier League matches in the second of three seasons covered by its current content deal, as well as the Autumn Nations Cup rugby.
Jeff Bezos was further boosted by the success of satirical superhero series The Boys and a hit Borat sequel which convinced many to take the plunge.
As with all streaming providers Amazon has been impacted by the arrival of Disney+ on the scene. It drew over 50% of all new subscribers in the first quarter with a Star Wars, Marvel and Disney back catalogue which proved irresistible to most.
That initial enthusiasm swiftly tapered with Disney+ accounting for just 15% of new subscribers in the latest quarter.
Across the year as a whole Disney+ drew 38% of the annual pool of new subscribers, comfortably ahead of Amazon Prime on 25% and Netflix, which brought up the rear on 19%.
Only yesterday Netflix celebrated chalking up 200m subscribers as it talked up its ad-free model following mounting calls for it to diversify its income stream in the face of new and evolving threats.