TV sets remain as prime device for VOD viewing | VOD | News | Rapid TV News
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The number of alternatives to traditional TV is growing rapidly, but even when it comes to the burgeoning on-demand sector, the way in which we access these new services has not changed that much, according to data from UK measurement firm BARB.

BARB 10Jan2018In a new white paper, The SVOD Report: Charting the growth in SVOD services across the UK, BARB found that in a world of fragmentation traditional TV viewing is declining with, by the end of 2016, the average person watching 216 minutes daily of traditional consolidated TV (live and viewed within seven days of broadcast), 2% less than at the same time a year earlier. However, the total amount of time spent in front of the TV was unchanged.

BARB attributed the reason for this apparent disconnect is that a fast-growing area of activity in the UK is unmatched viewing, defined as viewing programmes 28 days or more after broadcast and non-broadcast viewing including subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) activity. BARB calculates that unmatched viewing accounted for around 16% of all TV set activity in 2016, and this figure has peaked at over 20% in recent months. Even though it apportions a significant amount of this activity to games-playing on a console, the rest ranges from archive playback of PVR recordings over 28 days old, to DVDs and, most importantly, to watching programming via SVOD services.

Looking at unmatched viewing by device, BARB found that nearly a quarter came via games consoles, then set-top boxes (STBs) provided by Virgin (9%), YouView (6%) and Freeview (5%), as well as Internet STBs (8%) which includes Apple TV. All of these offer SVOD services through their STBs. Despite accounting for 11% of unmatched viewing, Sky STBs don’t offer SVOD services. Yet, most significantly, 30% of unmatched viewing comes from the TV set it via integrated applications or USB stick plug-ins, and this is most likely to be viewing programming via SVOD services.

BARB also noted that in the UK, people are increasingly investing in larger and larger TV sets. It believes that more than half of all UK households have a TV of at least 40” and 16% of homes have a set of at least 50”. Moreover, people were getting more use from them: in 2016, daily total TV set viewing by individuals was four hours 12 minutes on average.

The report also estimates that over nine million UK households subscribe to at least one SVOD service, with a 24% increase year-on-year in the number of homes taking at least one SVOD service. Yet the number the number of households that are subscribing to more than one service is increasing with by the third quarter of the year; of the 7.5 million households subscribing to Netflix, 2.3 million also subscribe to Amazon Prime Video, amounting to nearly a third of the SVOD leader’s subscriber base. Of all Amazon Prime Video subscribers, three-fifths also subscribe to Netflix.