Analyst: UK has strongest catch-up TV market in Europe

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Consumer research by Ampere Analysis on the TV viewing habits of Internet households in Europe’s big five markets reveals the rapid rate of change in the media landscape in the region.

In this snapshot of habits in UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain, Ampere’s Senior Analyst, Annabel Yeomans picks four key trends that have changed over the last six months when the region was in and out of Covid-19 lockdowns.

1. Streaming + pay-TV is now the home TV viewing choice for majority
– On average, over 80 per cent of pay-TV households across the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Germany also subscribe to at least one streaming service.
– France saw the highest increase in uptake of SVoD in pay-TV households in the last year, with 72 per cent of pay-TV households now also taking SVoD in Q1 2021, compared to 66 per cent in Q1 2020.

2. Spot the ‘Super Stackers’
– The proportion of Internet households with three or more services continues to rise.
– When taking into account any streaming services that are being paid-for directly, borrowed, bundled in free or trial accounts, the UK comes out in front. Some 31 per cent of UK Internet users have three or more services, closely followed by Spain at 28 per cent and Italy at 27 per cent. In Germany it’s 22 per cent and in France it’s 16 per cent.

3. Viewing habits shift to online
– SVoD services in Europe are frequently used alongside broadcaster led catch-up services. A third (33 per cent) of Internet users in the big five European markets report watching both catch-up and SVoD services, although catch-up-only viewers are in the minority.
– Just 9 per cent of Internet users watch catch-up services in a given month but don’t use SVoD products, while 34 per cent report using SVoD services alone.
– The UK is the strongest catch-up market in Europe, with almost half of consumers watching both SVoD and catch-up services. The UK is also the only market where the most-watched long-form streaming service is a local broadcaster’s catch-up platform, with BBC iPlayer ahead of Netflix.

4, Content ‘binging’ is a fact, not a fad
– Six out of 10 consumers in Ampere’s research say they regularly watch several episodes of the same TV show back-to-back in Italy, France, the UK and Spain.
– Germany had the lowest proportion of binge watchers among the Europe big 5, with 48 per cent of Internet users saying they watch several episodes of the same TV show back-to-back.

Annabel Yeomans, Senior Analyst at Ampere, said: “As online viewing increases in popularity in Europe, BVoD platforms can reach younger audiences who are not engaging via linear. However, to do this, they will have to change commissioning strategies to ensure they are providing content which appeals to this demographic. This may include online only content or genres which would not traditionally align with their linear platforms. If they do not pivot, they could lose further ground to SVoD services.”


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