Posted in: EntertainmentOp-ed
Published:
February 21, 2020 12:43 PM UTC

Amazon Prime Smash-Grabs UK Market in Fierce Netflix Battle

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 has overtaken Netflix to become the fastest-growing streaming service in the UK.
  • Recording its best year since it launched six years ago, subscriber numbers have risen from 5.28 million at the end of 2018 to 7.14 million at the end of 2019.
  • One of the key reasons for Amazon’s success? Premier League coverage.

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.

Source: Amazon.co.uk

The success of sports streaming will depend on quality, not gimmicks

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.

Source: Twitter

Amazon themselves were quick to highlight the size of the task ahead:

“It’s one of the biggest-ever streaming events in the UK.”

The whole venture was a huge win for Amazon Prime

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.

Can Amazon build on this success?

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.

Source: Twitter

The big question now is, can Amazon Prime build on this success?

Source: Twitter

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.

The English Premier League are interested in the streaming model

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.

Aubrey Hansen @Words_By_Aubrey

Entertainment & culture contributor at CCN, graduated from Aarhus University in Denmark with a Bachelors in Communications and Media Studies, former research intern at the Danish National Research Foundation. Reach me at aubreyhansenwriting@gmail.com

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