STBs trump Smart TVs for catch-up

humax-youviewNew data from MediaBug – Decipher’s bi-annual media tech tracker – have revealed that in homes in which both a Smart TV and a VoD enabled STB are present, an overwhelming 73 per cent choose to access their catch-up TV through the STB. The main reason given is ‘quick to access’, which highlights a key benefit that a Pay TV operator such as Sky, Virgin or BT has over the raft of new Smart devices bringing VoD into UK homes; that of not having to ‘switch’ away from your incumbent TV box to watch some catch-up TV.

The influence of Pay platforms is further underlined by findings into Sky’s new ‘Sky On Demand’ service, which recently introduced Catch-Up content from terrestrial broadcasters such as ITV. With Sky On Demand now in 2.3 million homes and climbing, there has been a question mark around how this rollout will impact usage of broadcaster sites such as ITV Player and the BBC iPlayer. Mediabug has uncovered early signs of a possible future migration effect: Amongst a group of regular ITV Player visitors who had recently been enabled for the Sky On Demand service, Mediabug found that 92 per cent had watched at least one ITV show via Sky On Demand.

Director of Decipher Media Research Hamish McPharlin said:  ‘These findings indicate how powerful the TV is in the media mix, and how despite the proliferation of devices in many UK homes, TV still commands a unique role that consumers are prepared to seek out’.

More key findings from Mediabug include:
– Free To Air homes are finally buying Smart TV’s: Decipher reports from 2011/2012 have indicated that it was mainly Sky homes buying Smart TV’s, however Mediabug now reports that non-Pay homes have caught up. This is good news for broadcasters, as these homes are more likely to use the broadcaster Smart TV Apps; leading to possible incremental growth through expanded advertising reach.
– Tablets were the media gadget of choice over Xmas: There was a 59 per cent increase in tablet ownership since the first Mediabug wave in October 2012. Now 35 per cent of online consumers claim to own some kind of tablet.
– The popularity of Online VoD is still on the rise: There has been a 36 per cent increase in usage of online Catch Up services since Mediabug Wave 1 in October 2012. Now 68 per cent of online homes claim to have used Online Catch Up at least once.

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