As news that Amazon Prime now outpaces Netflix growth in the UK surfaces, there's one key reason for the success of the streaming giant.
Amazon Prime is now the fastest-growing streaming service in the UK, six years after launching.
In all honesty, not many people saw this coming. Netflix has been strong in the UK for years now and is still the most prominent player, with 12.35 million homes subscribing to its service at the end of 2019.
So, what happened? Amazon introduced a wildcard of sorts.
When Amazon Prime first announced that they were planning to stream English Premier League soccer, fan response was mixed.
Despite the success of both Prime and Netflix over the years, the idea of live streaming has always had a dubious reputation. Will my stream buffer? That was the question most fans were asking.
Amazon themselves were quick to highlight the size of the task ahead:
“It’s one of the biggest-ever streaming events in the UK.”
There’s always going to be a few complaints here and there, but by and large, the response from English soccer fans was very positive.
Fans lapped up the overall quality, and the little touches that Amazon added to their broadcast. The option of switching from regular commentary to stadium-only sound was a success.
A key talking point for me is that new Amazon Prime viewers were able to watch the soccer coverage for free. This uptick in subscriptions isn’t smoke and mirrors. Fans haven’t subbed for the soccer, only to cancel shortly after. They got to watch the soccer for free and then decided to subscribe to the service following their trial.
This would suggest confidence and genuine interest in the service.
The overtaking of Netflix to become the UK’s fastest-growing streaming service is a big deal. The soccer coverage has been pinpointed as a crucial component in the recent subscription numbers.
The big question now is, can Amazon Prime build on this success?
The streaming giant currently has a deal in place to show more English Premier League games through 2022, so they could view this as a regular basis from which to boost their viewing numbers year on year.
There’s been another interesting development of late though.
There are reports that the English Premier League is interested in venturing further down the streaming pathway. Ironically, this has been described by some as a “Netflix-like streaming service.”
Early reports suggest they could be going it alone, but I think there’s a better chance that they plug directly into a service provider who can offer them a “ready to go” platform that has the technical aspect of the process down to a fine art.
And who would be better than the company that has already shown they can pull off the process?
If such a deal were to be struck, where would it leave Netflix?
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.