UK SVOD, time-shift TV viewing surge in 2018 | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our privacy policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. [Close]
The latest edition of The Viewing Report, the annual exploration of the UK’s TV viewing habits from measurement firm BARB has found that despite an upsurge in digital, the country’s enduring affection for traditional TV and in particular viewing patterns persist.
BARB viewingreport 22May2019
The top ten broadcaster groups in UK TV in 2018 were the same as the year before. The BBC kept its lead with 30.9% of all viewing followed by ITV with 23.2% but the gap between the two keeps narrowing: the BBC’s lead was 9.9 percentage points in 2017. Channel 4 accounted for 10.2%, with Sky (8.2%) and Channel 5 owner Viacom (8.1%) hot on its heels. UKTV, which has grown strongly over the last few years, and then Discovery on 2.7% and Sony on 2.5%. Led by increasingly popular CBS channels, AMC accounted for 1.5% and NBC Universal took a 0.9% share.

BARB noted that the fragmentation of the media landscape is not a new concept but that the growing competition for viewers’ time is increasingly evident. BARB found that in 2018, time spent on unidentified viewing — where the TV set was used to do something other than watch one of its reported channel or on-demand services — increased to 20% of all TV set activity, up from 17% in the preceding 12 months. That is a rise from 41–48 minutes a day on average. This it says is being driven primarily by the uptake of SVOD services.

It quoted data showing that 12.3 million homes in the UK had at least one of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or NOW TV in the fourth quarter of2018 – a year-on-year increase of 20%. Netflix was the main driver of this increase, having added 2.2 million homes compared with Q4 2017. BARB noted that Amazon too has shown impressive growth, adding more than a million homes, while NOW TV added just under 100,000. BARB also saw the number of homes with two or more services rise by 32% from 3.26 million to 4.3 million in the past year.

Looking at the kinds of households that are likely to subscribe to an SVOD service, BARB found that one or two-person households — 72% of which have adults aged over 55 present — were less likely than the UK average to subscribe to an SVOD service. By contrast, households with three or more people, which are more than 2.5 times more likely to have children present, are 47% more likely to subscribe to one of the three main SVOD services than the UK average. In addition, 16-24-year-olds are 70% more likely than the UK average to have access to an SVOD service.

Having grown more slowly in 2016 and 2017, time-shifted viewing increased by 0.9 percentage points in 2018, the highest growth in four years. This growth said BARB in The Viewing Report was likely driven by increased use of broadcasters’ VOD services. One consequence of England performing well at the 2018 World Cup, BARB witnessed a sharper downturn in time-shifted viewing during the summer months of the year than in odd-numbered years.