Part of our regular series on the UK broadband and Internet markets, this note highlights the shifting fortunes of ISPs and cable operators in competing against BT brands on the fast growing residential broadband market.
FAST services that include digital linear channels (FAST channels) appear to be experiencing solid growth in the US. In the UK, this success has been used to highlight a potential mechanism to diversify away from broadcast linear and SVOD
However, the growth potential of these services on this side of the Atlantic contends with a very different video market than the US—the free output of the PSBs remains prolific and of high quality, while prominence legislation is likely to tougher
Furthermore, overall viewing of long-form video content is declining. Any new FAST services will be fighting for a declining amount of screen time with poor content slates and little name recognition—however, growing demand for US content is an advantage
The pandemic years boosted many businesses selling services on subscription in the UK: work-from-home gave people more time and money to widen the services they enjoyed in the home, such as gaming, entertainment and music, also boosting engagement with trusted news
The cost-of-living crisis dented the number of subscribers to OTT SVOD and news services in Q2 2022. Broadband and mobile are must-have; bundles of services (e.g. Sky’s pay-TV and broadband or mobile) are more resilient; yearly and multi-year contracts prevent churn relative to monthly contracts; and services that cater to passions (e.g. football) are always need-to-have
Subscription (or supporter) media and news services reaped the demand for trusted news through the pandemic, but now face a tough challenge to their toplines from the economic downturn—and also to transition to a sustainable business model for media audiences, while advertisers are also feeling the heat