The subscription services we can’t live without

The average Brit spends three hours and 37 minutes online every day, and an average of one hour 21 minutes a day watching online services such as Netflix. Plus, on average, 18-25 year olds spend more than 20 hours a week on online gaming globally – so it’s safe to say we make the most of our subscription services. 

It was the pandemic that converted many of us into fully-fledged streamers. Pre-COVID, 13.3 million Brits were signed up to at least one video-on-demand service, but by the second quarter of 2021, this had increased to 18.8 million

With that in mind, we decided to uncover the subscription services that we can’t get enough of as a nation and to see just how much we spend on them each year. 

Over half of Brits say they couldn’t live without Netflix

Every year, Brits spend nearly £300 each on subscription services, with almost two-thirds of the population spending somewhere in the region of £10-£50 a month. Londoners splash out the most on subscriptions, followed by Mancunians and Brummies. 

Surprisingly, one in 12 of us have admitted that we spend more on subscriptions each month than we do on clothes. 

However, if you stream your favourite TV shows from a friend or family member’s account, you’re not alone – one in 25 of us are guilty of doing so, with Liverpudlians most likely to use someone else’s account.

The most popular subscription service is Netflix, with more than half of us saying we just couldn’t live without it. 

In second and third place are Amazon Prime (37.7%), and Disney+ (11.4%), with Disney+ proving the most popular with those between the ages of 18-24. 

Interestingly, a lot of Brits’ favourite shows aren’t available on live TV and can only be found on subscription services. Previous research we’ve carried out on popular TV series found that The Undoing was the most enthralling show, followed by Squid Game, both of which were only initially available on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV, and Netflix respectively.  

In fourth place is Spotify, with over 10% of us claiming we couldn’t live without it. The music streaming service is particularly popular among millennials. 

Rounding off the top five is NOW TV. Gaming gets a mention in spots six and seven, with Xbox Game Pass (3%), and PlayStation Plus (2.8%). PlayStation Plus is most popular with 25-34-year-olds (4.5%) while Xbox Game Pass is popular with the slightly older generation of 45-54-year-olds (4.5%). 

Whichever subscription services you use, to enjoy your shows, games and music to the max, it’s really important you have a good broadband connection. After all, no one wants to be halfway through their game or coming to the crucial part of a movie only to have the internet start buffering. If you’re wondering whether your internet could be better, try our broadband speed test before you stream your next film, TV show or game. 

Brought to you by the broadband experts at 


A survey of 2,002 people who use online streaming services was carried out by TLF in February 2022.