70% have watched catch up TV

UK analysts at YouGov have published a consumer survey on the UK’s TV viewing habits and attitudes.  Although ownership of Internet connected TVs is currently low, there is clearly a demand for them – almost three quarters (69 per cent) of respondents had watched catch up TV citing convenience as the main driver for doing so.

BBC’s iPlayer is by far the most popular catch up service with almost nine out of 10 (88 per cent) logging on to enjoy BBC content compared to 57 per cent for ITV player and 46 per cent for 4OD. Dramas, documentaries, entertainment and comedy rank highest in terms of the favourite content watched online.

At 91 per cent, Virgin Media cable TV subscribers are much more likely than other respondents to have used catch up services. The popularity of Virgin Media’s player is driving much of this viewing – 65 per cent of Virgin Media customers have used the player to catch up on programmes.

As Adele Gritten, Head of Media Consulting at YouGov explains “Cable TV subscribers benefit from having access to the Internet on their main TV screen. The fact that so many are enjoying catch up from their sofas, rather than their PC, further underlines the existing consumer demand for connected TVs in living rooms across Britain.”

The challenge for advertisers and their agencies is to ensure their message gets through in an increasingly fragmented and personalised TV eco-system.

And although 23 per cent say they watch catch up TV to avoid adverts and over a half (53 per cent) said they are more likely to watch catch up TV without ads, only 2 per cent would be prepared to pay to exclude the adverts.

The fact that adverts on live scheduled TV are more memorable is interesting as consumers are increasingly using more devices while watching live TV – 71 per cent say they make phone calls and texts, 58 per cent access the Internet from their laptop and 42 per cent access social networking sites from their laptop. These activities are significantly higher amongst those aged 18-44 years old. So if advertisers can focus on delivering relevant, quality advertising during live TV programming, their message will continue to get through to viewers, even to those that are engaging with other media at the same time.

As Adele Gritten, concludes “There’s no doubt that Internet TV in the living room rather than on the PC is coming, and that younger consumers in particular are leading the way and embracing it already.  But our research underlines that it is quality content that is driving viewers to the web to catch up with programming. And today’s demanding TV programme viewers are not just seeking out quality drama, documentaries and comedy – they also expect the adverts to be entertaining too. Our research suggests that advertising on catch up TV isn’t pitched quite right at the moment and there’s more to be done to take advantage of the connected TV viewers – now and in the future.”

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