UK content consumption climbs as Sky identifies boxset effect for lockdown viewers | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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Noting that as the country’s viewers are spending an unprecedented amount at home, leading UK pay-TV provider Sky has released research showing that viewers are using more apps, using more broadband and simply consuming much more TV.
Sky Westworld S03 25April2020
Based on research for all platforms from 17 March to 5 April 2020 and its mobile users from 17–29 March 2020, Sky says it has seen the highest ever TV viewing among its customers, an increase of almost a third. With more time at home, British viewers are watching on average an extra 72 minutes of TV a day, equating to a grand total of 5.5 hours. This rise was even greater for younger age groups reversing the decline in TV viewing seen in recent years with 16-34 year olds watching 45% more TV, an extra 85 minutes a day.

It says that viewing has been boosted by what it calls that there has been a ‘boxset effect’ with an increase of 26% of people turning to the beloved boxset with 123 million downloads. Across Sky households, there was an increase of 28% in the number of downloads for Sky boxsets (total 34 million), the BBC saw an increase of 28% (total 22 million) and All 4 downloads grew by 66% (total 11 ). Requests to access content via apps such as You Tube and Netflix, integrated into the Sky Q platform, have increased by a third with over 50 million requests.

App usage on Sky Q has increased by almost 70% including growth from Netflix and an increase in first-time users on YouTube. The company attributes this growth to the fact that with gyms, restaurants and theatres out of action, those with a passion for fine foods, fitness and the arts are having to turn online.

In addition with no commute people are also watching TV earlier than usual, with the peak viewing time for live TV now an hour earlier at 20:00. Viewing on-demand has risen across the day with spikes around 09:00, the time that Joe Wicks morning PE classes begin, and between 14:00 and 16:00 suggesting that kids are catching up on TV at the end of the home-schooling day. With millions more people working from home and more on-demand viewing, Sky Broadband usage was up 33% year-on-year in March 2020.

Other notable increases have seen Sky Cinema viewing rise by 45% with Rocketman and Secret Life of Pets the most popular non terrestrial shows on air. With people unable to get their fix of live culture, Sky Arts has also seen an increase of 55%, with live performances from Elvis, Queen and Johnny Cash proving the most popular.

Commenting on the trends revealed by the research, Sky managing director of content Zai Bennett said: “Interestingly, we’re not just seeing viewers watch comedies or old classics to escape these uncertain times, but watching a broad mix of genres including chewy premium dramas [such as Westworld, pictured] and cinematic comedy as well as more escapist TV. We’re seeing that people are looking for variety in lockdown, no longer able to go to their weekly yoga class or their favourite restaurant, Brits are being imaginative, looking at ways to recreate their favourite pastimes at home.”