Online viewing continues to climb
James R | On 08, Oct 2015
Online viewing of TV and film continues to climb on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the UK, people are watching an average of six hours of premium content online, double the amount recorded just three years ago, according to Ericsson‚Äôs ConsumerLab report.
The findings were unveiled at MIPCOM, where Stella Medlicott, CMO of broadcast and media services at Ericsson said that the rise in premium content popularity was an “interesting development”.
The shift in viewer behaviour is also sparking a change in attitude for the industry. Susanna Dinnage, EVP and MD of Discovery Networks UK and Ireland, for example, said that the company now thinks of itself as a content company not a broadcaster.
“The days when the broadcaster was in command and control are over ‚Äì the viewer is in control, and also the people who create the content.”
iPlayer continues to drive a lot of online viewing, with 45 per cent of UK audiences watching Beeb content each week. Indeed, Dinnage notes that catch-up viewing is still the primary reason for people watching videos online.
Another key factor is the rising popularity of streaming media devices, which give viewers a way to watch content online away from the computer without having to stump up for a new smart TV. Indeed, new Parks Associates research shows that US broadband households with a streaming media device watch more video on the television on average than households without one of these devices: 22 hours per week, to be precise, versus 18. Streaming media device owners watch double the amount of Internet video on the television, consuming six hours per week compared to three hours among non-owners, but only eight hours of broadcast TV compared to 10 hours for households without a streaming media device.
“Adoption of streaming devices, combined with an increasing supply of OTT options, has altered the video environment, demanding new business models in advertising, content creation, and video subscriptions,” says Brett Sappington, Director, Research, Parks Associates. “For example, Hulu has made subtle shifts in its business to emphasize its subscription services. The company has added more movie content via its deal with Epix and has added a new ad-free premium tier of service. Beyond Hulu, other new services will be joining the US market at the end of this year. By January 2016, we will see the impact of these moves, and how Netflix responds to the changes.”