Ooyala: Xmas viewing trends will see generational split

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Ooyala has put together its thoughts on how the UK will be watching content over the Christmas period, and how broadcasters might try to fight back to regain a slice of the viewing market.

Discussing the key viewing trends we’re likely to see over the next few weeks, Jim O’Neill, principal analyst, Ooyala, commented: “Over 2018 we’ve seen subscription channels like Netflix and Amazon Prime tighten their grip on the UK’s viewing market, and we have seen an increase the number of young adults who have never had a cable or satellite subscription. The likes of Netflix and Amazon have also secured big Christmas films, like Elf and Love Actually, alongside creating their own original festive content. This combination means younger viewers are likely to turn online rather than tune in for a festive hit.”

“We’re still likely to see families gathered around the TV set to watch specials and big events like the Queen’s speech. However, young children, tweens and teens are likely to be also tuning into other shows at the same time. Expect parents to be using multiple devices too – although they won’t be watching something else. They’re probably double checking which other films they’ve seen that actor in, and doing some fact checking about the plot. Grandparents are likely to favour a more traditional approach – watching one programme on one screen.”

What’s in the stocking matters

“What people find in their stocking may also affect viewing trends this Christmas. Many parents will have picked up tablets and phones over Black Friday and Cyber Monday as presents. We may see a boost in people testing out new devices by tuning into streaming services and downloading shows to watch on the journey home.”

“This will also set up trends for 2019. Consumers continued to watch video on mobile devices at a record pace in 2018, as global starts on smartphones and tablets topped 62 per cent of all video plays at one point. Content producers and distributors will be keeping a close eye on new devices and their sales numbers to see how they should be adapting their strategy for next year,” continued O’Neill.

 Broadcasters gear up to fight back

“How are Europe’s broadcasters fighting back to regain a slice of the market? They’re being pressured by continued content expansion from big online players, and they need to push. But content budgets, obviously, aren’t infinite, and a one-to-one matchup with Netflix, even on a local scale, would be an expensive battle. It’s critical that broadcasters find a way to maximise the value of their content by accelerating the speed of the content supply chain and getting to market quicker and more efficiently because as one content exec said to me this year, content doesn’t make any money while it’s in production,” O’Neill concluded.


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