iTunes has largest UK video on-demand library; Sky’s NOW TV growing rapidly
James R | On 17, Feb 2014
iTunes has the largest video library in the UK, according to a new report, while Sky’s NOW has seen the biggest increase in the last three months.
The VOD Audit by Decipher, which analyses the biggest 20 on-demand providers in the UK, reveals that Apple’s iTunes service offers a total of 65,063 video assets, 193% larger than the next largest service, Xbox Video, and 275% larger than the largest TV VOD service BT TV/YouView.
BT’s YouView box, though, is leading the digital TV platforms, with its catalogue growing 9 per cent across the fourth quarter of 2013. YouView’s deals with Sky Movies has helped its service to become 50 per cent than its partner and one-third larger than Virgin. But while BT may be winning at digital TV, Sky’s subscription service NOW was the fastest growing platform, expanding a whopping 208 per cent in the three months to the end of 2013 – far outpacing Netflix’s catalogue growth of 26 per cent.
The bottom line? Pay-per-view platforms are a big deal. Electronic sell through libraries, such as Tesco’s blinkbox and iTunes, dominate VOD supply in the UK, with over 20,000 titles (including episodes and films), which is 63 per cent larger than your average digital TV service and a staggering 161 per cent larger than your average subscription service, such as LOVEFiLM Instant.
Catch-up TV remains the most popular form of video on-demand for UK viewers, with Sky’s offerings growing 50 per cent to reach 3,181 programmes, beating BT YouView by 144 titles. Virgin Media’s on-demand catalogue didn’t grow by much, but the addition of Netflix to their TiVo boxes technically boosted their library by more than 12,000 episodes and films – although Deciper’s VOD audit doesn’t include those figures.
When it comes to watching TV, box sets are the buzz word touted by most platforms, with iTunes providing the largest number – a grand total of 41,547 episodes. In terms of SVOD, Amazon’s LOVEFiLM Instant was the winner, offering 9,358 episodes, disputing the commonly held myth that Netflix is better for TV shows and LOVEFiLM is best for films.
For movies, though, iTunes continues to be king, providing way over 13,000 movies to buy or rent. Netflix may be winning the media headlines, but Apple still has the biggest bite of the content.