Over 1m homes in UK without TV as demand for Netflix soars

Quarter of households were subscribed to Netflix, Amazon Video or Sky’s Now TV


More than a million households in the UK do not own a television as demand for Netflix and other online video-streaming services soars, a report has found. Some 4.7 per cent of homes — equivalent to 1.3 million households — were without a TV set at the end of 2015, according to Barb, the official body which collects television audience figures.

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent ) of households were subscribed to Netflix, Amazon Video or Sky’s Now TV in the last quarter of 2015, compared with just 14 per cent at the start of 2014. The Barb report said Netflix — which has scored a string of hit shows including House Of Cards and Making Of A Murderer — continued its “dominance” despite growth by Amazon Video and Now TV.

The number of households with Netflix grew by 1.4 million between the end of 2014 and the end of 2015, compared with an increase of 500,000 households for Amazon Video and 300,000 households for Now TV. The report, based on a survey of 53,000 people, said: “One theory is that non-TV households are online pioneers who are keen on TV but prefer to use computer devices to access it.

“However, the figures suggest that those without TV sets are generally less interested in the TV experience: they have a lower level of broadband take-up, and they are significantly less likely to have SVOD (subscription video on demand) or own a tablet or a PC.” Netflix has been a huge success in recent years, the report added, but its findings did not support the “more dramatic rhetoric emanating from Netflix HQ”, with online video- streaming services “complementing rather than replacing traditional linear TV”.

“Subscription video on demand (SVOD) services continue their onward march in the UK market,” the report said. “Now nearly a quarter of UK households claim to subscribe to one of the three main SVOD suppliers. “Netflix is by some margin the market leader, and its growth continues easily to outpace the other services.”