ERA: Streaming subscriptions boom during Covid-19

ERA: Streaming subscriptions boom during Covid-19

The coronavirus lockdown produced a boom in sales of streaming subscriptions, according to new data from the Entertainment Retailers Association.

Most new subscribers will continue to pay for services now the lockdown is over, based on research for a new guide from ERA about how the UK entertained itself over the past months. 

The data comes from ERA’s tracking study, which has measured the entertainment choices of a representative panel of up to 2,000 consumers each quarter for the past seven years. The latest wave of the research commenced on May 25, 2020, two months into the coronavirus lockdown.

The top performer was the new Disney+ family subscription service, launched just as lockdown began, with 10.5% of respondents saying they had subscribed. It was followed by Netflix with 8.4% and Amazon Prime at 5.6%, which includes music and video.

Spotify was at No.4 with 4.2% of respondents saying they had signed up. YouTube Music was at No.8 (1.4%) and Amazon Music Unlimited was at No.10 (1.2%).

Most new subscribers say they will stick with their new services once lockdown is over, with more than 93% of Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers saying they will maintain their subscription and more than 60% of those paying for each of the Top 10 services saying they will continue to subscribe.

The significant investment by digital services in convenience, range and accessibility are clearly paying dividends

Kim Bayley

ERA CEO Kim Bayley said: “These are incredible results and show that digital services were not just a distress purchase during lockdown, but are continuing to transform Britain’s entertainment habits for the long term. The significant investment by digital services in convenience, range and accessibility are clearly paying dividends.”

With physical entertainment outlets shuttered during the lockdown, the 41% of respondents who normally shop for music, video and games in store were prevented from doing so. But nearly 80% of respondents said they expect to spend as much or more in store once shops reopen.

However, the younger the respondent is, the more likely they are to shop less on the high street post-lockdown than they did before, with 33% of under-25s saying they will shop ‘less’ or ‘a lot less’.

The ERA panel was also asked about out-of-home leisure activities to gauge the likely impact on businesses related to entertainment, such as cinema and gigs. Responses suggested sharp falls across all categories, including a fall of a more than a quarter in those likely to go sightseeing.

While 73.4% reported that they previously went to the cinema, only just over half said they were likely to do so post-lockdown. Results for live music were even more challenging. Less than half of those attending live concerts and gigs said they would do so post-lockdown and only a third of previous festival-goers said they were likely to attend in the future.

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