YouView will impact digital behaviour in 2011

Kantar Media has published highlights from its futurePROOF study on the ownership and use of digital media in Britain. The research suggests that connected TV will have a big impact on British digital behaviour in 2011, with the launch of YouView. Awareness of IP television has not yet reached the mainstream with only 42 per cent of the population aware of IP TV. However, there is already evidence of a behaviour shift stimulated by the availability of TV on demand on a TV set.

Six per cent of the population have viewed TV on a mobile or portable device in the last four weeks. What is different about mobile viewing is that YouTube is the most viewed channel, watched by six in ten mobile TV viewers in the last four weeks. This fits with mobile TV viewers’ greater likelihood to agree that they would ‘prefer to be able to choose to watch TV programmes from a variety of channels on one website’ (60 per cent) than average (29 per cent).

Virgin Media viewers, who have a full on demand service via their TV, are more likely to have watched on demand through TV (63 per cent) than online (22 per cent) in the last four weeks. The gap is much smaller in Sky homes where there is not yet a full on demand service via TV (42 per cent via TV, 27 per cent online). In Freeview-only homes, where no TV on demand is available via a TV set, the study shows a greater proportion of people watching TV online on demand (34 per cent) than in any other type of household.

Trevor Vagg, Kantar Media director, comments: “We see connected TV as a potential ‘game changer’ in how people are going to be watching TV. The ability to watch streamed online content is not a new concept for consumers but being able to view it on their high-spec TV screen rather than their laptop or tablet will be a no-brainer. Connected TV also has the possibility of really taking the Internet into the living room and making it more of a shared experience.”

Despite so much digital media choice available for consumers, traditional media still holds a significant place for the British population. Two-thirds of the British population rate TV as a medium that is important to them. This figure has grown over the last year proportionally by 14 per cent. Internet is the next most important medium (57 per cent agree), followed by radio (44 per cent) and newspapers (38 per cent).  People aged under 35 ranked the internet as the one media they would choose, with TV in second place.

This increased importance of TV has coincided with strong growth in uptake of new television technologies particularly High Definition TV (HDTV) and Digital Video Recorders (DVR). The futurePROOF study projects that 47 per cent of British homes will have a DVR in 2011, a proportional increase of 10 per cent in the next year. With half of British households already owning an HD ready TV, futurePROOF shows that uptake in HDTV services will grow proportionally by 20 per cent in the next year.

Vagg comments : “It is interesting to see that, irrespective of the vast media choice consumers have, traditional media still have a considerable role to play in their lives. The futurePROOF research indicates a general rise in consumer importance of each medium, not least because each can be more accessible and personalised thanks to digital technology.”

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