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Introduction to BVOD

Updated on: June 11, 2024/ Posted on: July 7, 2023

BVOD or broadcaster video on demand refers to all on demand services offered by one of the UK’s main broadcasters and includes ITVX, Channel 4 Streaming, Sky Go, UKTV play, My5, i-player among others.

BVOD logos

BVOD provides a fantastic opportunity for audiences to watch their favourite shows at a time, on a device and in a place which best suits them - be that on the train, in bed, in the office or on the loo… or increasingly, sitting on the sofa, watching on a television with their family (some would call this the ‘traditional’ way to watch TV). In fact, the majority of BVOD, is watched on the TV set although some viewing takes place on all devices.

Viewers have embraced new screens for broadcaster VOD

81% of homes have a TV connected to the internet so access to BVOD is pretty universal.

In 2023, BVOD viewing grew by 23% year on year which is a substantial increase.

BVOD viewing accounts for 10% of all viewing for adults, but 24% of all 16 to 34 year olds viewing and so, for younger audiences, BVOD is a significant chunk of their TV viewing time.

How we watch broadcaster TV Individuals vs 16 34s

Being able to watch your favourite show when you want is a huge draw for BVOD - a point detailed in Thinkbox’ s ‘The Age of TV research, which observed there are eight need states which define our video viewing habits. The escape need state is when audiences are most engaged and looking to lose themselves in content and BVOD plays a significant role in servicing this need.

Escape 7 percent of viewing time

This connection between convenience and content is perhaps no more obvious than in the relationship between BVOD and boxsets, specifically those available pre-broadcast. Content that’s released on a BVOD platform as a boxset before being shown on broadcaster TV, often attracts high levels of pre-broadcast viewing, particularly if the content appeals to younger viewers. In this example, an episode of The Couple Next Door on Channel 4 received 51% of the total audience to the pre-broadcast on-demand release.

Content released as a boxset can receive high pre broadcast viewing

Whilst BVOD is funded by advertising and so is free to the viewer, there is another form of on demand content which is funded primarily by subscription fees – services such as Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+ - collectively known as SVOD or Subscription Video on demand.

There are, of course, some genres of programming to which BVOD does not lend itself to.

News is usually watched at the time of broadcast, as is live sport as these programmes are time sensitive. Looking at the chart below, we can see that for the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United, 92% of the viewing was live.

Sports is time sensitive so has high levels of live viewing

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