What are the most popular subscription services in the UK?

Brits spend over £2 billion every single year on subscription services – but which are the most popular and how is the market growing?

Whether it’s streaming music with Spotify or getting meal kits delivered to your door with Hello Fresh, many of us are using our bank accounts to sign up to subscription services. We’ve explored the latest subscription statistics to see how many Brits use these services.

Quick overview

  • The UK spends an estimated £20 billion a year on subscription services.
  • 4 in 5 UK adults (79%) are signed up for at least one subscription service, around 42 million people.
  • The average Brit spends almost £500 a year, or £42 a month, on subscription services, including streaming.
  • Half of UK adults (49%) have an entertainment subscription, around 26 million people.
  • Brits spend more than £2 billion every year on subscription boxes.
  • More than a quarter of Brits (29%) are signed up to a subscription box delivery service, an estimated 15.4 million.
  • The UK subscription box market is set to be worth £1.8 billion by 2025.
  • The most popular subscription boxes in the UK are Graze, Birchbox, Hello Fresh, Glossybox and Gousto.
  • Netflix is the most popular video streaming service, with almost 17 million households subscribed.
  • Two-thirds of households (67%) had access to a subscription video service in 2023.
  • Spotify is the most popular music subscription service in the UK.
  • Research in 2023 found that four-fifths (79%) of people are signed up to at least one subscription service, which works out to be around 42 million UK adults.

    However, nearly a quarter (23%) feel that their current service is too expensive and more than half (51%) would be willing to cut their subscription to save money during the cost of living crisis.

    What is the average spend on and number of subscriptions?

    The average Brit spends £500 a year on subscription services. Those with TV and film subscriptions, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, spend up to £300 a year on these, while those with music streaming subscriptions, such as Spotify, spend up to £200 a year on these. The average subscriber in the UK is signed up for 4 separate monthly services.

    The most popular type of subscription service in the UK is for entertainment and streaming platforms such as Spotify, Netflix and Amazon Prime, which half of UK adults (49%) regularly pay for, around 26 million people.

    This is followed by product delivery services, also known as subscription boxes, which are regularly paid for by 29% of Brits, over 15 million people.

    The subscription box market is booming, with an average spend of over £2 billion by Brits each year. This is not surprising when more than a quarter of Brits have signed up to a product delivery service. The subscription box market is expected to be worth £1.8 billion by 2025.

    Charitable donations and newspapers and magazines were also popular, with an average of 16% of Brits opting for each of these subscription services.

    Susbcription service Number of users
    Entertainment and books 26.1 million
    Product delivery service subscription 15.4 million
    Charitable donations 8.5 million
    Newspapers and magazines 8.5 million
    Gym and wellness memberships 6.9 million
    Food and drink 5.3 million
    Credit reports/credit checkers 4.3 million
    Digital fitness and wellbeing 3.2 million
    Education 3.2 million
    Clothing and shoes 3.2 million
    Health and beauty 2.7 million
    Flowers, craft, chocolates, and other treats 1.6 million

    Food subscription boxes are the most popular category, with over half (53%) of people subscribed to delivery boxes opting for those related to food, including recipe kits. This is followed by beauty, with almost a third (31%) of subscribers choosing the boxes that deliver make-up, skincare and fragrance treats.

    Book and magazine subscription boxes were the third most popular, with one-fifth (19%) of subscribers opting for these, followed by drinks (17%) and arts and crafts (13%). Just 1 in 10 (11%) decided that health and fitness subscription boxes were right for them.

    Susbcription box type Percentage
    Food and recipe boxes 53%
    Beauty 31%
    Books and magazines 19%
    Drinks 17%
    Arts and crafts 13%
    Health and fitness 11%
      1. Graze
      2. Birchbox
      3. Hello Fresh
      4. Glossybox
      5. Gousto

    The UK’s most popular subscription box company is Graze, as snacking reigns supreme. 2 other food-based subscription companies also make it onto the top 5 list – with meal subscription services Hello Fresh in third place and Gousto in fifth place.

    Beauty box companies also see a lot of success, with Birchbox in second place and Glossybox in fourth place. The products include make-up, skincare and fragrances, and recipients get a selection each month.

    Netflix is the most popular streaming service in the UK, with almost 17 million households subscribed in 2023. This is closely followed by Amazon Prime, which has 12.9 million households paying for a regular subscription.

    Disney+ is in third place with 7.14 million subscribers, an impressive feat considering it was only launched in 2020. NOW is the UK’s fourth most popular streaming service, with around 2.03 subscribed households, closely followed by Apple TV+, which has 1.91 million.

    Streaming service Number of users
    Netflix 16.96 million
    Amazon Prime 12.9 million
    Disney+ 7.14 million
    NOW 2.03 million
    Apple TV+ 1.91 million

    Spotify is the most popular music subscription service in the UK, with over half (53%) of those who had paid to stream music doing so through the platform. Amazon Music is the second most popular choice, with more than two-fifths (43%) choosing it.

    Apple Music was third most popular for paid music subscriptions among 29% of respondents, and YouTube Music wasn’t far behind with 27%.

    Susbcription service Number of people
    Spotify 53%
    Amazon Music 43%
    Apple Music 29%
    YouTube Music 27%
    iTunes 21%
    Soundcloud 10%

    Sources

    • Opinium Research – February 2023 – study of 2000 people
    • OnePoll survey of 2,000 people
    • GOV.UK
    • Statista
    • Barb
    • Whistl

    Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

    Matt Mckenna
    UK Communications Manager
    T: +44 20 8191 8806
    matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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