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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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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • People watch more time-shifted TV but overall TV viewership is in decline
              • Figure 1: Traditional vs time-shifted viewing – Average minutes watched per person per day, 2010-15
            • Value of pay-TV continues to rise
              • Figure 2: Value of operator revenue from sale of pay-TV services, 2010-16
            • Sales of TV sets stabilise
              • Figure 3: Value of the UK television market, 2011-21
            • Key players
              • Vodafone to launch pay-TV service
                • Now TV unveils new smart box and contract-free bundle
                  • Sky Q created as premium TV service
                    • Social media networks explore livestreaming opportunities with sport
                      • Twitter begins livestreaming on Apple TV, Xbox One and Amazon Fire TV
                        • The consumer
                          • Nine in 10 consumers watch live TV
                            • Figure 4: Live TV viewership, June 2016
                          • Over half use pay-TV to watch live TV
                            • Figure 5: Services used to watch live TV, June 2016
                          • TV shows are the primary reason for watching live TV
                            • Figure 6: Reasons for watching live TV, June 2016
                          • Nearly two thirds watch on-demand TV
                            • Figure 7: On-demand TV viewership. June 2016
                          • Free streaming is the main way people watch on-demand TV
                            • Figure 8: Service used for on-demand viewing, June 2016
                          • Over three quarters watch on-demand TV on a television
                            • Figure 9: Devices used for on-demand TV viewing, June 2016
                          • Pay-TV considered to have a better variety of package deals than subscription streaming services
                            • Figure 10: Comparison of pay-TV and subscription streaming, June 2016
                          • Recommendation services are becoming an important feature
                            • Figure 11: Attitudes towards TV viewing, June 2016
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                            • Binge watching vs appointment TV
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Live sport on social media could shake up TV market
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                        • People watch more time-shifted TV but overall TV viewership declines
                                          • The value of pay-TV continues to rise
                                            • The popularity of online video challenges traditional TV content
                                              • Spend on film/sport channels increases
                                                • Sales of television sets to stabilise
                                                  • Smart TV ownership grows
                                                    • BBC iPlayer users start paying TV licence fee
                                                    • Market Background

                                                      • Value of pay-TV continues to rise
                                                        • Figure 12: Value of operator revenue from sale of pay-TV services, 2010-16
                                                      • People watch more time-shifted TV but overall TV viewership declines
                                                        • Figure 13: Traditional vs time-shifted viewing – Average minutes watched per person per day, 2010-15
                                                      • The popularity of short online video challenges traditional TV content
                                                        • Figure 14: How often people watch short online videos, by age, June 2016
                                                      • Advertising revenue grows
                                                        • Figure 15: TV advertising revenues (excluding on-demand), 2010-15
                                                      • Spend on film/sport channels increases
                                                        • Figure 16: Spend on network TV programmes, 2014 and 2015
                                                      • Value and volume of sales of television sets to remain relatively flat
                                                        • Figure 17: Value of the UK television market, 2011-21
                                                        • Figure 18: Volume of the UK television market, 2011-21
                                                      • Smart TV ownership grows
                                                        • Figure 19: Household ownership of consumer technology products, April 2015 and April 2016
                                                      • BBC iPlayer users start paying TV licence fee
                                                        • Competition shows dominate broadcast television
                                                        • Key Players – What You Need To Know

                                                          • Vodafone to launch pay-TV service
                                                            • Now TV unveils new smart box and contract-free bundle
                                                              • TalkTalk relaunches pay-as-you-go streaming service
                                                                • Social media networks explore livestreaming opportunities with sport
                                                                  • Twitter begins livestreaming on Apple TV, Xbox One and Amazon Fire TV
                                                                    • Facebook enables videos to be streamed on a TV
                                                                      • Sky Q created as premium TV service
                                                                        • The BBC explores binge watching
                                                                          • Virtual reality TV content is being tested
                                                                          • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                            • New TV services launch
                                                                              • Vodafone to launch pay-TV service
                                                                                • TalkTalk relaunches pay-as-you-go streaming service
                                                                                  • Disney to introduce UK video streaming service
                                                                                    • Now TV unveils new smart box and UK’s first contract-free triple-play bundle
                                                                                      • Social media networks explore livestreaming opportunities with sport
                                                                                        • More live content is added to TV streaming platforms
                                                                                          • Twitter begins livestreaming on Apple TV, Xbox One and Amazon Fire TV
                                                                                            • Facebook enables videos to be streamed on a TV
                                                                                              • Bloomberg TV launches on TVPlayer
                                                                                                • Sky Q created as premium TV service
                                                                                                  • The BBC explores binge watching
                                                                                                    • Virtual reality TV has potential but is not there yet
                                                                                                      • BBC Three switches to online-only
                                                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                        • Nine in 10 people watch live TV
                                                                                                          • TV shows are the primary reason for watching live TV
                                                                                                            • Nearly two thirds watch on-demand TV
                                                                                                              • Younger people are more positive about subscription streaming services
                                                                                                                • People consider pay-TV to have a better variety of package deals
                                                                                                                  • Younger people wish to binge watch
                                                                                                                    • Recommendation services are becoming an important feature
                                                                                                                      • Live sport holds great potential for streaming services
                                                                                                                      • Live TV Viewership

                                                                                                                        • Nine in 10 people watch live TV
                                                                                                                          • Live adverts can help grab attention of live viewers
                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: Live TV viewership, June 2016
                                                                                                                          • Over half use pay-TV to watch live
                                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Services used to watch live TV, June 2016
                                                                                                                          • Younger people are watching live TV on free streaming services
                                                                                                                            • Nearly everyone watches live content on a TV
                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Devices used to watch live TV, June 2016
                                                                                                                            • Reasons for Watching Live TV

                                                                                                                              • TV shows are the primary reason for watching live TV
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Reasons for watching live TV, June 2016
                                                                                                                                • Older viewers are far more likely to watch the news
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Have watched the news live in the last 3 months, by age, June 2016
                                                                                                                                • Over half of male viewers watch live sport
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Watched a sports games/competition live in the last 3 months, by gender, June 2016
                                                                                                                                • On-demand TV Viewership

                                                                                                                                  • Nearly two thirds watch on-demand TV
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: On-demand TV viewership. June 2016
                                                                                                                                  • Free streaming is the main way people watch on-demand TV
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Service used for on-demand viewing, June 2016
                                                                                                                                    • Over three quarters watch on-demand TV on a television
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Devices used for on-demand TV viewing, June 2016
                                                                                                                                  • Comparison of Pay-TV and Subscription Streaming

                                                                                                                                    • People consider pay-TV to have a better variety of package deals
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Comparison of pay-TV and subscription streaming, June 2016
                                                                                                                                    • Younger people are more positive about subscription streaming services
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Repertoire of services which on-demand provides better than pay-TV, by age, June 2016
                                                                                                                                    • Younger people have better opinion of programming on subscription streaming services
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: View of programming on pay-TV and subscription streaming services, by age, June 2016
                                                                                                                                    • Streaming services are considered better for multi-device use by younger viewers
                                                                                                                                      • Offline viewing/low data usage are areas to improve
                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards TV Viewing

                                                                                                                                        • Recommendation services are becoming an important feature
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Attitudes towards TV viewing, June 2016
                                                                                                                                        • Younger people wish to binge watch
                                                                                                                                          • Advertisers have to alter game plan for binge watchers
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Agreement with statement “Binge watching a TV series is better than watching it week by week”, by age, June 2016
                                                                                                                                          • Metrics and understanding audiences
                                                                                                                                            • Live sport holds great potential for subscription services
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Agreement with statement “Subscription streaming should include live sport”, by gender, June 2016
                                                                                                                                            • Younger people are intrigued by VR TV
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Agreement with statement “I would be interested in watching a virtual reality TV show/film”, by age, June 2016
                                                                                                                                            • Many frustrated by not being able to use services abroad
                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer research methodology

                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                                                  TV Viewing Habits - UK - October 2016

                                                                                                                                                  £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)