nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

CandW discuss US and UK youth dumping TV for SVOD

VideoNuze nScreenMedia podcast

New data shows that SVOD is catching up to, and overhauling, live TV in the UK and US. Moreover, the young are leading adoption on both sides of the Atlantic. The smart TV is the preferred platform in the UK, but streaming media players are winning in the US.

Chapter 1: US youth prefer Netflix (1:30)

Hub Entertainment Research says that the young are the focus of the shift away from live TV. Just 26% of 18-to-34-year-olds consider live TV as their default service. On the other hand, 35% of them say Netflix is their default TV service. For the average viewer, 39% say live TV is their default service, and 22% say Netflix.

Every age group has moved away from live TV in the last year. For example, the number of 55-and-older adults that consider live TV their default service fell from 66% in 2017 to 56% in 2018. Those in that age citing Netflix as their default increased from 5% to 7%.

The decline in live TV usage by the young has been underway for some time. Between Q2 2014 and Q2 2017, weekly time spent watching live TV among 18-to-24-year-olds fell from 17 hours and 18 minutes a week to 11 hours and 22 minutes, a decline of 34%. Those 65 and older watched almost four-times as a much live TV in Q2 2017 per week as 18-to-24-year-olds.

Chapter 2: UK youth prefer YouTube and Netflix (4:20)

Ofcom, The UK’s telecoms regulator, found that UK 16-to-34-year-olds now watch an average of 2 hours, 37 minutes per day of OTT content vs. 2 hours, 11 minutes of broadcast content across all devices.

The average UK viewer watches 1 hour, 28 minutes of OTT content and the 16-to-34-year-olds watch almost double that. Across all age groups, 71% of viewing time is still with broadcast content. However, broadcast TV viewership on TVs dropped by 9 minutes, or 4.2% in 2017 to an average of 3 hours, 22 minutes per day. Since 2012, broadcast viewership has decreased by 38 minutes per day or 15.7%.

Chapter 3: SVOD services multiplying in UK and US (8:00)

Hub says that the average number of TV sources available to each viewer has increased from 3.7 in 2014 to 4.5 in 2018. As well, the company says that the average number of services an SVOD user has in the US in 2.6 and the UK 2.0. Ofcom says there are now more SVOD subscribers in the UK than pay TV subscribers.

Chapter 4: Why consumers chose Netflix (11:00)

The number of UK citizens that say they use Netflix and BBC iPlayer is roughly equivalent. As well, the attraction to Netflix is the originals the company produces. The big attraction to Amazon Prime Video is free shipping in the Amazon store.

Chapter 5: Smart TV leads in the UK, streaming media player in the US (14:20)

Half of UK homes now have a TV connected to the Internet. 44% have a smart TV, with connectivity integrated into the device, and 11% have a connected TV device. In the US, streaming media players like Roku and Apple TV are the most popular.

We both feel that the TV operating systems that will end up winning are those not tied to a specific piece of hardware. Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV all have good reasons to keep the devices using them populated with the latest apps and services. Hardware manufacturers like Samsung and LG do not have a good reason to keep their older models up-to-date.


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