The UKTV Play app has been downloaded more than 1 million times this year, as the on-demand service continues to grow rapidly.
Views have risen 84 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2016, fuelling an annual growth of 12 per cent across UKTV’s VOD services – boosted by roll out on new devices and platforms, expanded archive shows and a greater number of box sets.
The strong on-demand performance is helping to fuel UKTV’s growth overall, with the multichannel broadcast reaching a record share of commercial impacts (SOCI) in H1 2016, outpacing the British broadcast market. UKTV’s consolidated SOCI averaged at an all-time high of 9.74 per cent for the first six months of the year, with the broadcaster growing its ad impacts 7.6 per cent year-on-year, while the market grew by only 2.7 per cent. And for the first time, the UKTV network achieved 10 per cent SOCI for a full quarter for Q2.
Since 2010, UKTV has grown adult impacts by 48 per cent Over the same period, broadcast has grown by 6 per cent.
UKTV’s growing investment in original and exclusive content, in particular, is paying off.
The UK’s most watched non-PSB channel, Dave, for example, moved into live sports for the first time in 2016, securing the exclusive, live rights to the David Haye comeback fight at the O2 arena, which brought in a record-breaking peak audience of 3.2m viewers. Taskmaster was up 45 per cent series-on-series in July, with the second episode delivering the highest performance of the run with 768k viewers, consolidated. The new season of Alan Davies As Yet Untitled was also up 19 per cent on slot. As a whole, Dave increased viewership by 2 per cent in peak across the year, while also winning Entertainment Channel of the Year at the Broadcast Digital Awards.
Darren Childs, Chief Executive of UKTV says: “Our investment in bold, original programmes for our vibrant channel brands continues to chime with audiences – from Dynamo: Live at the 02 to The Comic Strip Presents… to the David Haye fights and Taskmaster – the year so far has been outstanding, and the best is yet to come. Our share of commercial impacts continues to grow so we can better serve British viewers and advertisers in this competitive market.”
Gold has enjoyed a “tremendous” year so far, adds Childs, with viewing share up 8.2 per cent compared to H1 of 2015, with Simon Callow-fronted scripted comedy commission, The Rebel, starting off Q3 with a premiere audience of 308k viewers, up 126 per cent on slot.
Drama is the number two non-PSB channel (behind Dave), and one of the fastest-growing channels in the UK, up 32 per cent year-on-year. The channel recently acquired the rights to The Red Tent, a four-part mini-series with Minnie Driver.
W (the rebranded “Watch”) launched in February, and has grown across several metrics versus the previous incarnation of the channel, with viewership up 4 per cent and monthly reach up 8 per cent. The channel has a slate of exclusive programming for the second half of 2016, including UKTV Originals John Bishop in Conversation with… and Amanda Holden’s I’ve Got Something to Tell You.
Its VOD arm is continuing to grow in the second half of the year: since UKTV Play’s product redesign and #LoveYourThing marketing campaign launched in June, there has been a 50 per cent increase in visits to the UKTV Play website.