TV Viewing Habits - UK - October 2016
“Binge watching is increasingly becoming the preferred method for watching TV series, particularly among younger viewers. However, for select TV series having a stalled release structure can still bring major gains in terms of boosting profile, anticipation and engagement as social media becomes the new ‘water cooler’.”
– Rebecca McGrath, Media Analyst
This report examines the following areas:
- Binge watching vs appointment TV
- Live sport on social media could shake up TV market
Whilst more TV viewers are watching on-demand TV, across various services and devices, live TV still remains the dominant way in which people view television content. Nine in 10 people watch live TV, with viewers increasingly watching live content via streaming services such as BBC iPlayer. Social networks have also begun to explore live sport broadcasting, which should boost live TV viewing, particularly among younger people.
The television set is still the primary device on which people watch both live and on-demand content. The growing penetration of smart TVs and the addition of more apps to set-top boxes have helped cement the continued centrality of televisions. Viewing on the go via mobile devices is growing though and can be further boosted by TV services introducing offline viewing options and making ‘data deals’ with mobile providers.
The popularity of subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) services, such as Netflix, has helped increase people’s preference for ‘binge watching’. Nearly half (42%) of TV viewers would now prefer to ‘binge watch’ a TV series rather than watch week by week. Traditional broadcasters are therefore considering altering their content releases in order to adapt to this viewing preference.
This Report examines television viewing habits of consumers in the UK. This refers to the consumption of video content accessed through the following sources (unless stated otherwise):
- Linear broadcasts on digital TV channels (ie conducted at the time of scheduling, via free-to-air or paid-TV providers).
- Video-on-demand (VoD) platforms that exist alongside a broadcaster’s/provider’s linear TV service in order to provide access to time-shifted content via the internet (eg BBC iPlayer, Sky Go etc).
- Subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) services that require a monthly payment (eg Netflix, Now TV).
- Other forms of online video service such as those that allow viewers to purchase individual shows (eg TalkTalk TV Store), or access TV programmes or clips on video streaming sites (eg YouTube) that are funded by advertising.
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