“Netflix and chill” may have originated in the United States, but it’s really taken root in the United Kingdom, where the video streaming service is now the top dog. While other web-based platforms have tried to give Netflix a run for its money (looking at you, Hulu and Amazon Prime, and HBO Now), at least when it comes to the U.K., the red and white really does reign supreme. According to a new report from British TV ratings agency Barb, more than 5 million British homes used Netflix in 2015, whereas just 1.6 million subscribed to Amazon Prime Instant Video and fewer than 1 million took to Now TV, provided by Sky.
These impressive figures for Netflix translates to its presence in almost one out of every four U.K. households, and by 2019, business researchers at IHS suggest that Netflix will hit around 7.5 million subscribers. And with 1.5 million new watchers in 2015 alone, this upward trajectory shows no signs of slowing.
Already, Netflix has established itself as the entertainment system of choice in around 200 countries, and with the overwhelming popularity of original shows including House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, it’s no wonder new binge watchers are signing up in droves to get in on the action.
And expansion is certainly on the forefront of the streaming service’s mind. “Based on our forecasts,” says Richard Eary, the UBS head of European media equity research, “We expect Netflix will spend more on content globally than the top seven commercial broadcasters in Europe by 2018-19.” Given the streaming service intends to spend around $5 billion on content this year (almost double its $3 billion budget last year), UBS’ predictions seem reasonable.
The U.K. certainly appears to be an area of focus for the California-based company, as Netflix is allegedly spending 100 million pounds on The Crown, the very first original U.K. drama produced by the streaming service. Based on Peter Morgan’s The Audience, the royal biopic will star Wolf Hall’s Claire Foy and former Doctor Who actor, Matt Smith.
So binge away, U.K. watchers. You’ll have more than enough content to keep you occupied for years to come.
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