UK viewers half as likely to “cord cut” in favour of online services
Staff Reporter | On 17, Mar 2016
UK viewers are less demanding for VOD, reveals a new report from Nielsen.
The research firm’s Global Video-on-Demand Report, published today, shows that British take-up of VOD providers is below the global average, with 1 in 5 survey respondents signed up to streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (compared to 26 per cent around the world).
Nearly seven in 10 (69 per cent) Britons report their household pays a subscription to watch live broadcast or on-demand programming, but the most popular format is satellite (e.g. Sky), accounting for 37 per cent of respondents, followed by cable (e.g. Virgin and BT), with 24 per cent.
Indeed, British subscribers are only half as likely (15 per cent) as the global average (32 per cent) to cut the cord (replace their satellite/cable contract with an online service).
“The increasing popularity of online-only TV services will continue to put pressure on the likes of Sky and Virgin, but a wholesale replacement of these traditional subscription players is unlikely,” says Nielsen executive vice president of digital for Europe, Terrie Brennan. “For most UK viewers, online VOD and traditional subscription services are complementary, so we’re more likely to see ‘cord shaving’ – consumers choosing slimmer subscription packages from the traditional players, rather than cancelling them outright.”
Only half (51 per cent) of Britons online watch some form of VOD programming (be it long- or short-form content) compared to 65 per cent of respondents globally.
1 in 3 British VOD viewers stream at least once a day, but this is still below 43 per cent globally.
The type of content viewed in the UK using on-demand services also contrasts with other parts of the world: Brits are more likely to watch TV (74 per cent on-demand than films (64 per cent), whereas, globally, many more people use VOD to watch films (80 per cent) than TV programmes (50 per cent).
Brennan concludes: “In Britain, the cord-cutting wolf is being kept from the door by a combination of a relatively smaller appetite for on-demand content and traditional pay TV’s superior content library in terms of live sports and the earlier availability of premium TV series and films.”