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1 January 2021

What are the UK's most talked about TV shows in 2020?

BrandsEye analysed public opinion on social media from over 2.2 million tweets.

The most talked about shows of 2020 have been revealed, with Love Island accounting for almost half (48%) of all tweets posted by Brits. It generated almost 10 times more posts than the second most popular show, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here.

The report, Lockdown and chill: How streaming won 2020, from the personal finance comparison site, finder.com, with exclusive research from the social media analytics specialist BrandsEye, looked at how streaming has surged in a lockdown-filled 2020.

Over 2.28 million tweets relating to 65 shows were analysed, revealing the most discussed shows. Third after Love Island and I’m a Celeb was Strictly Come Dancing. This means that the top 3 talked about shows were all on free streaming platforms, as are 6 out of the top 10. Amazon Prime and NOW TV had no shows in the top 10.

The highest placed newcomers were The Mandalorian on Disney+ in 4th place, Netflix’s Tiger King in 7th and The Witcher in 8th.

Inclusivity and LGBTQ+ were key themes that were regularly talked about alongside streaming conversations throughout 2020. One event that generated a high level of praise was the inclusion of a same-sex couple in Strictly Come Dancing, while Diversity’s Black Lives Matter performance on Britain’s Got Talent divided opinion.

With everyone being stuck inside for most of the year, it is no surprise that more of us have been paying to stream than before. Almost 4 in 5 (78%) said they have used at least one streaming service over the past 12 months, an increase from June, when 76% said they did.

Netflix continues to be the most popular platform in the UK, with half of us having used it (50%), although this figure has fallen from 52% in June.

Amazon Prime Video is a clear runner-up in terms of users, with 38% of Brits saying they’ve used it to stream. This is an increase from 35% in June, and indicates that Amazon Prime may be catching up with Netflix as the UK’s most popular paid streaming service.

A fifth of Brits (20%) have already used Disney+, despite it only launching in March earlier this year, while 17% said they have used Sky Go. Both of these increased by 3 percentage points from June.

Illegal streaming

Alongside the rise in legal streaming this year, more than a tenth of Brits (11%) admitted to illegally streaming content over the past year. This is a big increase from June, when 6% admitted doing so, although the return of live sports has played a big part in this. Illegally streaming films was the most common illicit activity (5%), but this is followed by illegally streaming premier league football (4%) and TV shows (4%).

The future of streaming

The popularity of streaming doesn’t look set to stop anytime soon. Almost 6 in 10 people (58%) are considering signing up to at least one more paid service in 2021, with Netflix again leading the way (20%). It isn’t ahead by much though, with 17% of people considering signing up to Amazon Prime Video and 12% thinking about Disney+.

The full paper, Lockdown and chill: How streaming won 2020, includes expert commentary from industry leaders and can be viewed and linked to here.

Commenting on the findings, Amelia Glean, TV writer at finder.com said: “British TV watchers have never had a greater selection of shows, films and sports at their fingertips. New streaming platforms appear to be cropping up every couple of months with increasing options to pay-as-you-watch, as well. Even if you don’t have much spare cash to put towards a streaming platform, there are ways you can watch the shows you want, without resorting to illegal streaming:

“You could make use of one-month free trials from the likes of Amazon Prime and hayu. Put the date in your diary before the trial ends to review or cancel it so you don’t default into a subscription you may not want.

“Another tip is to sign up to streaming platforms that allow premium packages where a few family members or friends can login on different devices. You could then split the monthly payment between you to make it more manageable.

“Finally, a few platforms now enable you to just rent or buy the film, show or event you want to watch. So if you don’t plan on watching much, this could be the most cost-effective option for you.

To view other BrandsEye, Finder.com reports, click here.

Contact us to read the full report

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