Netflix to suffer another year of UK subscriber losses in 2023
The global streaming service is poised for a second year of UK subscriber losses. Can its ad tier help soften the blow?
Netflix to lose 700,000 UK customers in two years / Netflix
Netflix is on course to lose 700,000 UK subscribers in two years as cash-strapped Brits cut back on spending.
According to research from Ampere Analysis, the streamer lost around 500,000 UK subscribers in 2022 and is expected to lose another 200,000 in 2023.
In 2022 Netflix had its first successive quarters of subscriber losses leading to the announcement of its ad-funded offering, Basic with Ads. Netflix said after the roll out of Basic with Ads in November that it would stop reporting subscriber numbers in its financial reporting.
The streamer’s advertising strategy is to drive incremental profit rather than change its primary funding model.
Disney is the only major SVOD to carry on adding swathes of new customers with an expected 1.4 million UK viewers to sign up this year taking its UK total to 6 million.
Innovid’s chief technology officer and co-founder Tal Chalozin, previously told The Drum the days of prioritizing subscriber numbers were over and urged stakeholders to instead look at engagement. Now Netflix has signed up for Barb and Nielsen ratings it should now be easier to track engagement over subscriber numbers.
Content spend slump
Investment in content is expected to stagnate in 2023 increasing by just 2% year on year, in stark contrast to 2022’s 6% increase, according to Ampere. Excluding 2020 - the year in which Covid began to impact production - Ampere forecasts 2023 to be the lowest growth period in a decade.
While streamers like Netflix will be maintaining a consistent content budget, others like Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery will continue to pump cash into programming. Disney is expected to reach a staggering $10.5bn in 2023, with Warner Bros. Discovery not far behind with $9.5bn. As a result the pair are set to overtake Comcast as the biggest spenders in original content.
Meanwhile, commercial and public broadcasters are still struggling to find match pre-pandemic level of investment, in fact, broadcaster content spend in 2023 is expected to decline by 3%.
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