UK Consumers Embrace Subscription Services, Spending £620 per Year – a 12% Surge from Last Year

In an era dominated by digital experiences and doorstep deliveries, the United Kingdom has emerged as a nation of “Super Subscribers,” with Brits now dedicating an average of £620 annually to various subscription services. This represents a notable 12% increase compared to the £552 spent just twelve months ago.

A recent study conducted among 2,000 adults reveals that subscription services have become an integral part of British daily life, with a staggering 80% of households currently subscribed to at least one service. This reflects a significant 16% surge year-on-year.

Among the range of subscription options, entertainment platforms, such as music and film streaming services, remain the top choice for Brits, accounting for 46% of subscriptions. Additionally, food or meal boxes (16%), technology (14%), and beauty/grooming services (12%) have gained substantial popularity.

Consequently, the “subscription economy” has skyrocketed, now estimated to be worth a remarkable £395 million. This represents a staggering 23% surge over the past year alone. These findings come from research conducted by Barclaycard Payments, which handles nearly half of all credit and debit card transactions in the country.

While retailers benefit from the increasing profitability of subscription models, consumers also enjoy financial savings. Almost half (48%) of subscribers report saving money as a result, with an average annual savings of £290.

Moreover, these savings have a positive ripple effect, as 45% of subscribers claim that their subscriptions discourage them from making unnecessary purchases.

Barclaycard Payments President, Marc Pettican, commented on this trend, stating, “Subscriptions have become an essential part of British consumer life, whether it’s for entertainment, meal boxes, beauty products, or even musical instruments. While the growth of subscriptions was undoubtedly accelerated by the lockdown, our data indicates that the popularity of digital and direct-to-door sign-up services is enduring.”

Pettican further explained, “The convenience, personalization, and value for money offered by subscriptions ensure their longevity, particularly as we adapt to the new routines and lifestyles brought about by the pandemic. As the subscription economy continues to expand, it will be fascinating to observe how retailers diversify their range of sign-up products and services.”

The study also explored some intriguing subscription choices among Brits. These included subscriptions for cheese deliveries (8%), musical instruments (8%), and underwear (7%).

Although subscriptions were relied upon by almost half (45%) of the population during lockdown, the trend shows no signs of fading, as 40% of respondents plan to subscribe to more services, even as restrictions ease.

Furthermore, subscriptions contribute to financial organization for 50% of subscribers, while 55% highly value the time saved through regular deliveries.

Looking ahead, 43% of respondents would consider gifting a subscription service to a loved one for occasions like Christmas or birthdays. Additionally, 36% of individuals intend to incorporate subscriptions into their future gift shopping.

Marc Pettican concluded, “Despite gaining momentum during the lockdown, the convenience and value for money provided by subscriptions ensure their long-term viability. We anticipate that Brits will increasingly seek bespoke offerings, such as cheese or gourmet restaurant meal kits, in the future.”


  1. Entertainment platforms
  2. Food/meal boxes
  3. Technology
  4. Beauty or grooming
  5. Books/literature
  6. Flowers/gardening
  7. Health
  8. Pets
  9. Restaurant meal kits
  10. Alcohol

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