Accelerated digital video service uptake driving increased viewing | Media Analysis | Business | 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 Living with Digital survey from Futuresource has revealed that after an already impressive and partly pandemic-fuelled first half of the year, the continued upwards trajectory of digital video uptake rolled on in the latter six months of 2020 even though the landscape showed fragmentation.
Horowitz state of ota 10Feb2021
The Living with Digital programme is in its 13th year, with the current edition being the 21st report in the series, continuing the theme of capturing the evolution of consumer behaviour regarding entertainment consumption, with a key focus on digital video. Across all types of video services covered in the survey, uptake grew. Transactional digital video continued its strong gains in terms of user uptake in the second half of 2020. In key European markets, over 30% claimed to have bought or rented a title since Covid-19 hit, a figure that was 40% in the US.

Even though the new wave of advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) services was less established in Europe, over 40% of respondents said that they had accessed one of the key AVOD services such as Pluto TV in the previous month. Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) uptake continued to increase, driven by multiple service uptake but also due to the continued strength of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Overall, Amazon Prime uptake was one of the big winners, with the pandemic boosting the appetite for “free” shipping and video streaming, whilst strong gains in the UK were boosted by the increased availability of Premier League Football.

The survey also saw respondents in many countries report an increasing proportion of their viewing share on typically less dominant viewing categories at the end of 2020 compared to June 2020. Viewing digital transactional video, social media video, broadcaster VOD and even watching DVDs and Blu-rays, marginally increased their share within the period, although they remained comparatively small against traditional TV and SVOD viewing share in all countries.

In the round, Futuresource said that the study illustrated the increased fragmentation of viewing across different services, platforms and indeed business models, as well as the increased requirement for aggregated experiences. It added that the survey indicated a continued future appetite for new SVOD services; typically, 30% of SVOD subscribers say they will take more services in 2021 than currently, with only 10% saying they will take less.

Analysing the findings, David Sidebottom, principal analyst at Futuresource Consulting pinpointed Disney+ as a key driver of multiple SVOD uptake in 2020. He predicted that other services would also continue to help drive this phenomenon into 2021, with the likes of more recently launched services such as HBO Max, Paramount+ and Discovery+ key to this, especially in the USA.

“However, consumers are becoming increasingly savvy about managing their subscriptions. Over one quarter say they will dip-in-and-out of services, more so in 2021 than currently, highlighting once more the importance of churn management for services in an increasingly cluttered landscape, he added. “This increasingly fragmented SVOD landscape is also mirrored across overall video viewing trends.”