UK viewers watched three times more BBC than Netflix in 2021

Netflix was level with Channel 4, according to a report

UK audiences spent triple the time watching the BBC over Netflix last year, according to a report.

A study from media analyst Enders Analysis (via Deadline), which set out to research Netflix’s growth in the country over the last decade, found the proportion of total UK viewing to Netflix was seven per cent in 2021, compared to 22 per cent for the BBC.

ITV and YouTube beat Netflix too with 16 and 14 per cent respectively. Channel 4 was level with the streaming giant at seven per cent.


According to the report, Netflix’s proportion of UK viewing has risen over the past decade, although it remained broadly flat last year. Around 16.7million UK households subscribe to Netflix in total.

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It’s believed Netflix’s UK audience could grow if it continues to target older viewers, a group that spends more time watching TV than young people.

Between 2019 and 2021, the amount of Netflix watched per day by over-65s doubled from less than five minutes to around 10 minutes, while 55-64 year old viewing went up to 15 minutes per day.

In comparison, Netflix viewing among age brackets below 55 similarly increased in 2020, but declined last year. It’s believed this could be from the rise of competitors like Disney+.

The report follows the UK government’s decision to freeze the BBC license fee for the next two years, with culture secretary Nadine Dorries indicating the fee would be scrapped once the current license fee funding deal expires in 2027.


In a post on Twitter, Dorries wrote: “This license fee announcement will be the last. The days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors, are over.

“Time now to discuss and debate new ways of funding, supporting and selling great British content.”

The annual payment usually changes on April 1 each year, but it’s expected to be kept at the current rate of £159 until April 2024.