UK customers still not optimising spend on streaming

Netgem has released research it undertook with PointTopic on the streaming habits of UK customers. The new study suggests that even though bundling of Pay TV in the UK is high (45% of households), even more customers use such services than are often credited (up to 87% of customers) due to the use of ad-funded and free services, YouTube and TikTok, as well as video streaming services such as Prime Video or Netflix.

Netgem argues there is a growing disconnect between premium service subscriptions and usage, however. Recent Kantar figures point out that British households now subscribe to an average of 2.4 streaming services, but usage is only 15% higher than three years ago when they subscribed to 1.2 services. This means they are subscribing to services they’re not using.

PointTopic data suggests viewers are currently a long way from optimising their entertainment spend, which resonates with recent news from popular streaming services such as Netflix. (see Its not subscribers that are the problem Netflix – you’re just bad at bundling, pricing and charging)

Netgem says viewers require more guidance to optimise their entertainment
spend during the Great Crunch and also CSPs have an opportunity to lower the barriers to access content – meeting customer needs and driving loyalty.

Sylvain Thevenot, CCCO, Netgem TV

Sylvain Thevenot, Chief Commercial & Customer Officer commented: “It is time for the viewers to be put first, lower the artificial barriers to quality PSB content, and remove the streaming experience fragmentation. In this time of cost-of-living crisis, when viewers have a strong desire to save they can turn to Netgem TV as we are obsessed about bringing Brits the ability to ‘Stream Big, spend small”.

Standalone streamers such as Prime and Netflix provide subscribers with hundreds of thousands of hours of content whilst allowing them to opt-in and out of their rolling monthly service easily. In contrast, bundles offered by quad play operators are often not as flexible. Thevenot says Netgem helps solve this problem by allowing telecoms operators and digital content publishers to offer a catalogue of content combined with optimised WiFi SuperStream and supporting a variety of charging models. This ability to combine QoS with content provides a key point of differentiation, they say.

Netgem has already deployed NetgemTV in Europe and the US through a B2B and B2B2C content-as-a-service model, which requires no infrastructure investment and generates recurring revenue. Thevenot argues that Netgem has a unique position within the market, having both CSP and content owner relationships, hardware and software capabilities which help CSPs reset the dial on their quad play offers.

Key findings from the report include:

  • YouTube had the largest proportion of frequent viewers and more than 70% penetration amongst 25-34 year olds.
  • British households now subscribe to an average of 2.4 streaming services but usage is only 15% higher than in 2019.
  • 35% of households no longer have access to an aerial and can’t watch Freeview live channels in some regions.

Omnisperience view

Omnisperience strongly believes that the time has come to refresh bundling and pricing for content services and to revisit the customer experience. Customers do not want more platforms. They want fewer platforms with more content and a wider range of options to pay for that content. Refocusing on the needs of different types of customer, offering more personalisation and more payment options is the only way to beat the Great Crunch. Ericsson sounded the alarm a year ago that customers were dissatisfied with services being bundled with 5G. If CSPs don’t act soon, customers will simply lop off subscription services they perceive to be underused or too expensive, and it won’t just be Netflix reporting ‘unexpected’ losses.