With the necessary recording equipment becoming increasingly commonplace in the country, the UK is set to see time-shifting gain majority status in homes.
According to data released by Kantar Media’s futurePROOF study on the ownership and use of digital technologies and media in Britain, live TV is just about remaining the preferred viewing option for most people (51%), followed by recording to watch on PVR (34%) and then viewing on-demand (10%).
The futurePROOF study also revealed that half of the British adult population (53%) claim ownership of a PVR (such as Sky+, V+ or YouView) at home with just under half (49%) saying that they have watched television on-demand in the past month, using any device.
Furthermore, 70% of on-demand users claiming they only use on-demand services to catch up on programmes they have missed and 47% of on-demand users stating that they often use on-demand services to watch programmes when they are not in front of a TV set. futurePROOF also revealed that nearly two-thirds (64%) of PVR users say they feel more at ease setting their PVR to record a TV programme than relying on on-demand services and 58% use the PVR rather than on-demand so they can keep access to programmes for longer.
However, just under a third (31%) of British adults do not own a PVR and not actively using on-demand TV, just over half (51%) of whom are aged 55 or over).
Looking forward, there is a growing body of people for whom time-shifting is the default behaviour and live viewing is mainly reserved for event TV. Of these, who both have a PVR and have used on-demand TV, they are more likely to choose to watch a series via PVR (52%) than live (38%) or on-demand (10%). Similarly, those aged under 35 are less likely to choose live TV (40%) than time-shifting (PVR 37%, on-demand 17%).
“Live television is seen as a convenient way to transition from work to relaxation and the best way to experience unmissable moments,” suggested Trevor Vagg, Director, Kantar Media Custom, analysing the findings.
“The social opportunity to 'media-mesh' with live content is also a factor that will surely continue to influence viewing choices. However, the ease of use and convenience of PVRs, and to a lesser extent on-demand services, is leading viewers towards a preference for being in control of when they watch their favourite programmes.”