VoD moving from devices to TVs

Video on DemandNew figures from Mediabug – Decipher’s bi-annual UK media consumption tracker – have shown how the increasing popularity of TV connected services such as Now TV is leading to more viewers choosing their TV over laptops and devices for accessing video on demand content.

The firm’s Mediabug Wave 5 reports that both PCs and tablets lost share of online VoD viewing (5 per cent and 2 per cent respectively) – whilst Apple TV (+1 per cent), Now TV (+1 per cent), Chromecast (+1 per cent) and Smart TV’s (+2 per cent) all saw an increase in share of viewing.

This trend is also being spurred along by an aggressive roll-out of Internet-connected boxes from all pay-TV providers, and an increase in TV-based support for content subscription services. YouView recently joined Virgin Media, Now TV, Apple TV, Smart TV’s and a host of other OTT devices in supporting SVoD services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Telco EE also recently joined the market with its EE TV box, containing support for Catch Up services and subscription content from Wuaki.

Mediabug also reported that OTT services, whilst still a small part of the VoD market, are the most frequently used for VoD viewing. Sky’s Now TV box topped the list, with 20 per cent of owners using it daily, followed by Apple TV and Smart TVs. Smartphones came in last, with 6 per cent.

According to Dr Hamish McPharlin, Director of Decipher Media Research, the findings really show how TV connected devices are making their mark. “Mediabug consistently demonstrates that despite the popularity of handheld devices, video consumption is enjoyed mainly in the home. What we are seeing is a realisation of the desire to enjoy video consumption, from an increasing number of sources, on the best screen in the house,” he advised.

Now in its third year, the bi-annual tracker is based on an online consumer survey of 3,000 UK consumers, and reports on how new technology is impacting media consumption.

Among the report’s key findings:

  • Sky On Demand is the most prevalent connected TV VoD service:

29 per cent of online UK homes now have a Sky+HD box – up 3 per cent in 6 months – and 21 per cent are connected to Sky on Demand. Smart TVs are in 24 per cent of homes, with 19 per cent connected. YouView boxes grew 1 per cent.

  • EST arrives on pay-TV with Sky and BT:

It’s only early days, but Mediabug shows that users of Sky’s Buy & Keep service, and BT TV Purchase, are mostly in their 30s, and are above average consumers of Online VoD and DVD retail. Older age groups have been shown to trust their pay-TV provider more than an online EST provider, and may prove a strong market for TV EST as the service matures.

  • Now TV boxes are most frequently used OTT box: Of the raft of OTT boxes that have hit the market, Sky’s Now TV boxes are the most frequently used for watching video – 20 per cent of Now TV owners use it daily. Despite their small but growing penetration, OTT boxes in general are being used for VoD more frequently than PCs and devices.

  • Netflix continues strong growth, mostly amongst pay-TV homes: Netflix has added another 3 per cent of UK online homes, bringing it to a total of 16 per cent. Amazon Prime has seen a small recovery from its early 2014 rebrand jitters, now with 7 per cent of online homes. Now TV continues a steady rise in subscriptions, adding 1.2 per cent to finish with 4 per cent of online homes. Most SVOD subscribers also have pay-TV.

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