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Brits spend £552 a year on subscriptions

Kalila Sangster
·2-min read
Netflix logo is seen displayed on TV screen in this illustration photo taken in Poland on July 16, 2020. On-Demand streaming services gained popularity and new subscribers during the coronavirus pandemic.  (Photo Illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Entertainment services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, are the most popular type of subscription. Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Brits are spending an average of £552 ($724) a year on subscriptions for everything from meal kits to entertainment platforms, new figures reveal.

The UK has a subscription economy worth around £323m, according to data from credit and debit card spending from Barclaycard Payments.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of UK households are signed up to regular subscription services, with the average Brit is currently spending £46 on subscriptions each month, Barclaycard found.

Demand for home delivery subscriptions, for products ranging from groceries to magazines, has skyrocketed due to people spending more time at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

READ MORE: 70% of gym-goers ditched memberships post-lockdown

Spending on subscriptions increased by 39.4% for the year to July, according to Barclaycard.

Businesses rushed to take advantage of the growing popularity of subscriptions, with 22% of retailers rolling out a subscription service during lockdown.

Entertainment services, such as Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon Prime (AMZN), are the most popular type of subscription, followed by grocery products and meal kits, Barclaycard said.

Kirsty Morris, managing director for account development at Barclaycard Payments, said: “Subscription services provide an exciting opportunity to engage consumers with products and services at home, whether that’s digital content or streaming services, meal kits, or more personalised offerings such as bespoke alcohol kits or on-demand exercise classes.

“For many retailers this has meant adapting quickly to offer new products and services to respond to the growing demand.

READ MORE: Non-essential spending returns to 2019 levels as lockdown eases

Retail consultant Mary Portas said: “Subscriptions were already a vital tool for UK retailers prior to the pandemic, helping businesses to remain nimble and transport their product or experience direct to their customers’ homes.

“Due to the prolonged period of lockdown, the public has grown accustomed to the range of products on offer, as well as the ease at which they can be regularly surprised and delighted by the brands they care about.”