VOD key numbers

Broadcaster VOD key numbers

Numbers are important and here you'll find the ones you need to help you understand how Broadcaster VOD is establishing itself as an important part of our TV diet.

Key points

  • In 2015 Broadcaster VOD accounted for 3% of total UK video consumption: 7% for 16-24s.
  • This is equivalent to watching nine half-hour TV shows a month via Broadcaster VOD
  • Broadcaster catch-up is the UK’s most popular form of VOD.
  • In 2014 59% of Broadcaster VOD was watched on a TV set with the reminder watched on devices. 

A couple of things to bear in mind about VOD numbers: the assumption is often that any TV viewing on non-TV set devices or over the internet is VOD. This is not entirely true; most of it is VOD but not all of it. Some viewing over the internet or on other devices is streamed live TV. This is particularly popular when major sporting events happen.

Measuring all these new ways to watch TV is a major challenge and BARB, the body which measures TV viewing officially in the UK, is currently enhancing its methodologies; it is installing meters in its panel homes to measure in-home TV viewing on PCs and laptops up to 28 days after the initial broadcast. We don't yet have official, device-neutral VOD measurement from BARB that can be reported alongside Linear TV viewing at a demographic level - but it is coming. For the latest news on Project Dovetail, visit barb.co.uk

 “Measuring all these new ways to watch TV is a major challenge  and BARB is currently enhancing its methodologies”  

Broadcaster VOD key numbers

Breaking down the broadcaster content we can gain a little more granularity, separating out the time-spent viewing Live from DTR playback, TV-set VOD and VOD on other devices.

DTR Play back

An additional 3.9%: small but beautiful 

This is the proportion of overall TV viewing accounted for by Broadcaster VOD in the UK - regardless of the screen it was watched on - according to data from the broadcasters. This will grow, but it is important to keep in mind how early in its development we still are.

9.0 minutes a day

This is approximately how much Broadcaster VOD the average UK viewer watches a day across all screens. This is based on 5 minutes a day on a TV set and 4 minutes a day watched on other screens, like tablets and smartphones (data from UK broadcasters)

Overall, this works out as approximately nine half-hour TV shows a month watched via Broadcaster VOD.

VOD demand is rising

And, although this may sound small, it is increasing. From the most recent data available, VOD viewing on devices has grown by 14% year on year.

Tablets are on the rise

Tablet ownership in the household is now at 52% (Ipsos MORI Tech Tracker Q3 2016), and mobile devices now account for 38% of BBC iPlayer requests, down 15.6% year-on-year. There has been a rise in requests via a TV screen of 29.2% year-on-year, now accounting for 31% of requests. (source: BBC iPlayer data, June 2016).

Where does Broadcaster VOD fit within total video viewing?

Today there are many ways we can watch the video we want to watch. We can choose live broadcast or playback television; broadcaster VOD; subscription VOD (SVOD) services like Netflix and Amazon Prime; online video services such as YouTube; or DVDs and cinema.

A picture of the nation’s video diet – in terms of volume - was revealed as part of Thinkbox’s 2015 Truth about Youth research, commissioned from Platypus. Here are the video consumption headlines from the report

  • TV(broadcast, playback and BVOD) dominates the video viewing of all ages, accounting for 76% of UK video consumption; 57.5% for 16-24s
  • Netflix and other subscription VOD services account for 4% of UK video consumption; 4% for 16-24s
  • YouTube accounts for 4.4% of UK video consumption; 10.3% for 16-24s
  • Broadcaster VOD accounts for 3% of UK video consumption: 7% for 16-24s

Total Video Chart


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