Study: YouView users mix different viewing patterns

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UK hybrid digital TV platform YouView has revealed data on how the nation is watching its favourite TV programmes, with analysis suggesting that the vast majority of viewers watch the first episode of a programme on live TV, but then tend to shift towards viewing in a combination of ways.

The platform backhauls 370 million anonymous data points a day, providing insights into how viewers use the YouView interface and how audiences discover and watch linear TV, PVR and on demand programming.

Since the full rollout of the ‘Next Generation’ user experience in June 2017, there have been 8 billion streams of content across the platform. Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of viewers have recorded content, only half of these then go on to watch their recorded programme, with almost half (46 per cent) watching the programme on the same day.

“We are delighted that YouView now offers broadcasters the kind of advanced insights normally associated with digital OTT platforms,” declared YouView CEO Richard Halton. “In a world of increasing choice and profound changes in viewer behaviour, it is essential to understand not only what consumers watch, but also how they find programmes across live linear, recorded and VoD content. We expect to use this data to help broadcasters make better choices and to continually evolve our platform to help viewers find the programmes they love quickly.”

The tracking of every channel, including IP delivered channels and every interaction made with YouView’s set-top boxes, provides a wealth of consumer behaviour data for analysis.

The data reveals insight into how the nation’s best-loved TV programmes are being watched through YouView – more than two in 10 (22 per cent) of viewers of Channel 4’s Great British Bake Off series had not seen the series on the BBC.

YouView also looked into the ‘stickiness’ of a flagship series. In January, the BBC released all six episodes of new crime drama series Hard Sun on the same day the first episode was broadcast on live TV. YouView data shows more than one in 10 (12 per cent) of viewers who watched the first episode went on to watch the entire series on iPlayer within seven days of the live broadcast of the second episode.

Viewers who watch two episodes of a programme are more likely to get hooked and continue to watch the entire season. Series analysis shows that the vast majority of viewers watch the first episode of a programme on Live TV, but then tend to shift towards viewing in a combination of ways.

Figures for ITV also support this trend. Ninety-two per cent of those who watched the first episode of ITV’s Victoria season two watched it on live TV. By the eighth episode, only 15 per cent of users watched the entire season live. Almost half of those viewers initially discovered the programme via the Guide. As the season progressed, however, behaviour started to change, with people consciously tuning to the channel to watch the programme.

“The data we get from YouView is of great value to ITV,” advised Neil Mortensen, ITV Director of Audiences. “They have the ability to deliver real behavioural insights that help us understand how our viewers find their favourite programmes. This data can guide lots of new thinking into the way we schedule and promote our shows.”

Typically, when a YouView set-top box is powered on, the three most common viewer behaviours are to tune to a live channel using the remote control, launch the Guide to select a channel to watch or to watch recorded programmes.

Meanwhile, 25 per cent of all VoD launches happen in the first three minutes of a box launching, suggesting planned viewing behaviour rather than impulse viewing.

Additional insight reveals that almost 40 per cent of all DTT channel tunes, lasting more than three minutes, are made via a YouView feature such as the Guide, Search or Discover, rising to 50 per cent for IP channels. This pattern changes depending on the time of day with viewers far more likely to tune in via YouView features during peak times when there is a greater choice of programmes and they are less certain about the schedule.

The results from this extensive reach into the nation’s remote controls is shared with YouView’s major broadcast shareholders – BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. Going forward these insights could be offered to other content providers on YouView.

“Looking ahead, aggregated data can be used to inform better content discovery across our platform and bring personalisation through machine learning,” noted Halton. “Dynamic ad insertion in linear TV moves into mainstream this year and we are already trialling an end to end solution backed by real time data. Working closely with both our broadcaster and telco shareholders, we are in a unique position to truly understand the demands and opportunities of the ever-changing TV landscape, and how to invest and innovate to meet those demands whilst informing the industry at large.”


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