The UK’s Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) — the company responsible for TV ratings data in the region — says that subscription video on demand (SVOD) services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are not replacing traditional TV, but complementing it.
The UK Television Landscape Report published by BARB on Tuesday showed that those who subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime Video are actually more likely to also be subscribed to cable or other “traditional” paid-TV services from providers like Sky, BT, and Virgin Media.
Almost a third (30%) of homes with cable are subscribed to Netflix, compared with just 13% of terrestrial-only homes, the report found. The study used survey data. Self-reporting methods aren’t as useful as actual registration data, but surveys do offer a a useful indicator as to consumers’ viewing habits.
This supports BARB’s claim that people who use Netflix are watching more TV on different platforms, rather than changing how they watch.
However, this is not conclusive evidence that streaming services are being used in addition, rather than instead of traditional linear TV subscriptions.
Another contributing factor to the data above is that, in homes with Sky and cable, broadband take-up is more than 90%, while only 71% of terrestrial-only homes have the broadband that is necessary for services like Netflix, according to BARB (although some users may use mobile data instead.)
One thing is for certain: streaming services are rapidly increasing in popularity in the UK.
Just 14% of households were subscribed to Netflix, Amazon Video or Sky’s Now TV in Q1 2014. By the end of Q4 2015, this shot up to 24%.
The survey suggested said that there are more than 6.5 million households are subscribed to a video streaming service in the UK. Meanwhile 4.7% of those surveyed said there was not a traditional TV set in their household.
The UK Television Landscape Report uses findings from the Establishment Survey, which comprises survey data from more than 53,000 people.
Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.