Third of Brits spent £100 extra on entertainment subscriptions in lockdown

Kalila Sangster
·2-min read
Chiang Mai, Thailand - April 26, 2016: man hand holding screen shot of Netflix application showing on Asus Zenfone 2 mobile phone. Netflix is a global provider of streaming movies and TV series.
The average Brit spent six hours and 25 minutes a day watching TV during lockdown, according to new research. Photo: Getty

A third (35%) of Brits spent an extra £100 ($135.80) on entertainment subscriptions during the coronavirus lockdown — equivalent to £630m across the nation.

According to new research by Thinkmoney, over half (56%) of UK consumers have spent more on subscriptions throughout lockdown, with one in 20 (5%) spending more than £400, after spending an additional £80 per month for the five months of lockdown (March, April, May, June and November).

Over a third (36%) said they had signed up to a TV or movie streaming service such as Netflix (NFLX) as a due to the lockdown, in the survey of 2,000 Brits.

Netflix saw subscriber numbers skyrocket, drawing in a record 16 million new users in the first three months of 2020, with the average Brit spending six hours and 25 minutes a day watching TV, according to the research.

This is equivalent to 45 hours per week of screen time — an increase of a third compared to last year.

Infographic: Thinkmoney

However, books also proved to be popular throughout lockdown with 27% saying they bought more books, while 7% spent more on subscriptions to audio providers.

Some 12% of Brits paid more for entertainment apps on their phone during lockdown.

More women than men are spending extra time watching streaming services with 39% of women using all of their subscriptions more than ever, compared to 29% of men.

Regionally, London and the North East saw the greatest rise in subscription spends, with both areas up by 63%. The West Midlands came in second, up 60%, followed by the South East (59%), the East Midlands (58%), and Wales (58%).

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Less than half (43%) of those in the South West spent more one entertainment subscriptions during lockdown.

Jonny Sabinsky, head of communications at Thinkmoney, said: “It’s quite clear that we have relied heavily on entertainment throughout the lockdown, and the numbers prove it. It highlights just how important the industry is for getting us through tough times, but it is also important to know how much you are spending. If possible, only sign up to subscriptions you will use and write out a budget to make sure you aren’t spending more than you have available.”

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