UK Digital Video 2020

Subscription Services and Big-Screen Viewing Jump During the Pandemic

About This Report
Digital video viewership in the UK will continue to rise this year. The pandemic has provided a particularly significant impetus for subscription video-on-demand services, while connected TVs have become the consumption device of choice.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

The pandemic and ensuing lockdowns left a lot of people in the UK with a lot of time on their hands. Digital video filled a void for many, and subscription services in particular saw rapid uptake. Viewership of long-form content on big screens will thus see a boost this year.

How many digital video viewers will there be in the UK?

This year, 47.0 million people—69.9% of the population—in the UK will watch digital video content at least once per month, up by 2.9% from 2019.

What devices are people using to tune in?

The vast majority of the UK population was housebound for most of the day during strict lockdowns, which led people to lean more into the bigger screens in the household. (Earlier this year, people in the UK were allowed out of their homes only for exercise or to collect essential items.) The number of connected TV (CTV) users in 2020 will therefore reach 40.9 million, up substantially from our January 2020 forecast of 38.6 million.

What platforms are viewers using to consume digital video content?

Subscription services became incredibly popular during lockdown. The uptake of these services will be so massive in 2020 that the combined viewer numbers for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are set to surpass YouTube viewer numbers for the first time—43.1 million versus 42.0 million. That combined total breaks down to 26.6 million viewers for Netflix and 16.5 million for Amazon Prime Video.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report examines the digital video market in the UK based on our most recent forecasts, which have taken pandemic effects into consideration. It looks at who’s watching, how they’re tuning in, and what kinds of content they’re consuming.

KEY STAT: The lockdown saw UK viewers re-engage with their big screens. This year, 40.9 million people will watch video content on a connected TV, up from 38.6 million in our previous forecast.

Read This With Insider Intelligence


Bill Fisher


Ethan Cramer-Flood
Forecasting Writer
Shelleen Shum
Senior Director, Forecasting
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