Digital video viewing is one of the UK’s most widespread digital activities, with almost 60 per cent of the population predicted to watch digital video content via any device at least once per month in 2015, according to eMarketer’s latest forecasts. Unsurprisingly, digital video viewership among the country’s Internet user population is even stronger and will approach three-quarters this year.
However, despite its growing popularity, digital video viewer penetration in the UK lags behind some other countries by this measure. In the US, for example, 63.5 per cent of the total population will watch some form of digital video in 2015, eMarketer estimates.
“Where the UK stands out is in what and how its viewers watch. TV content is a particularly large part of digital video viewers’ consumption,” explained eMarketer analyst Bill Fisher. “When it comes to mobile, unlike in other European countries, the thirst for short-form content is less pronounced in the UK. Rather, long-form content reigns supreme, no matter the screen choice, and UK consumers are often willing to pay for the privilege.”
Mobile devices are playing a significant role in UK video consumption as more and more consumers move away from laptops and desktops toward tablets and smartphones. Notably, for the first time this year, half of smartphone users in the UK will watch digital video on such devices, eMarketer estimates.
Predictably, younger age groups lead for digital video viewership in the UK. While teens and young millennials watch more digital video overall, with a preference for shorter-form content, they also overindex against the adult population for long-form paid content. However, older demographic groups are increasingly becoming digital video viewers, too, and will likely drive the next surge in viewing activity.