Research: UK pre-teens driving VoD surge

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The gap between teens watching TV on-demand and live has grown significantly, with research from marketing communications agency MediaCom showing pre-teens (aged 8-12) are driving the popularity of streaming services in the UK.

Nearly half of all teens say they currently watch on-demand TV most often (46 per cent compared to 38 per cent last year), yet pre-teens saw the biggest on-demand increase overall. Over a third (34 per cent) of pre-teens now watch TV on-demand most often, compared to only 20 per cent in 2017. The 17-19 age range also increased significantly from 58 per cent last year to 67 per cent this year.

Netflix remains the most used streaming service for teens, two-thirds (66 per cent) of whom now have access to the platform compared to 53 per cent in 2017. Meanwhile, 38 per cent of teenagers can now access Amazon Prime Video (vs. 30 per cent in 2017) and access to NOW TV is 20 per cent, up from 17 per cent in 2017.

Only 6 per cent of kids have no access to an on-demand service – a decrease from 10 per cent in the last twelve months.

As on-demand viewing increases, so has TV viewing on mobile, with 35 per cent of teens regularly watching TV or films on their phones, in comparison to 21 per cent in 2015. This reflects the growing smartphone ownership in the UK too, as 84 per cent of teenagers now have access to a smartphone (up from 82 per cent last year), including 68 per cent of 8-12-year olds.

“The way in which teens view their favourite content online is almost unrecognisable even from five years ago,” said Josh Krichefski, CEO of MediaCom UK. “Today’s generation are growing up as ‘on-demand natives’, able to access content whenever, wherever and however they want, and is essential to the popularity of shows such as Stranger Things, Jack Ryan and Game of Thrones. With the likes of NOW TV and Amazon Prime Video making real in-roads in the on-demand scene and recent news of Netflix taking up 15 per cent of all Internet data, it’s no surprise streaming services are ramping up their investment in content quality, quantity and accessibility.”

The research also shows the accessibility of smart assistants and how this technology is becoming engrained into their daily lives; nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of teens having access to a voice-activated device and over half (55 per cent) of those use them daily. The majority (62 per cent) of teens use these assistants to request music, 51 per cent for searching for information and 42 per cent to check the weather.


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