Television and the 12-18s: the Millennials Speak

By Matt Walters – @matthew_walters –

Head and shouldersIt has become a recurring theme among observers of the TV industry that young people have rejected broadcast television and “don’t watch TV any more”.  The huge take up of alternative video formats and new devices is continually interpreted as evidence of this rejection. Recent analysis of viewing patterns and quantitative research from Ofcom and Thinkbox has shown that linear still plays a significant role in the viewing mix for young adults. These reports also show that over half of viewing amongst 12 – 18 year olds is now non-linear VoD and OTT.  While the new data has reset our understanding of “what” is happening, what we haven’t known until now is “why”; what is motivating this shift, and will it remain in the future? more “Television and the 12-18s: the Millennials Speak”

Misunderstanding The Backwards EPG

6th January 2016: our original blog, published on 29th November last year, has been revised to incorporate new research data we have received.  We are pleased to include this in relation to discussion of the 1st generation backwards EPGs below.

At the launch of the new SkyQ system recently, there was one feature (or lack of it) which struck us odd.  The proposed system currently doesn’t have a backwards EPG, or any deep integration with catch-up from linear broadcast.  When we asked why, we were told that ‘our consumer research shows that only a small number of people use them to access catch-up’.  We would make three points:
– You can’t disadvantage any users, however small the user base
– Current backwards EPGs aren’t good enough to use as a research benchmark
– It sounds like the research was asking the wrong question more “Misunderstanding The Backwards EPG”

Digital Purchase on Set Top Box Unearths New Audiences – says Decipher’s latest Mediabug Report


New figures from Decipher’s bi-annual media consumption report Mediabug have shown that half of those who have purchased a TV show or film on their set top box have never purchased a digital TV show or film before.

Mediabug Wave 7, released today, reports that to date 24% of the UK online population have purchased a digital copy of a TV show or film; a practice known as EST (‘electronic sell through’). Most of these buyers have purchased via an online store such as iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon Instant. However, the new option to purchase via your TV set top box from Sky and BT seems to be attracting new consumers to digital buying. To date, 8% of the UK online population have purchased via their set top box, but half of this group (4%) had never purchased EST before. more “Digital Purchase on Set Top Box Unearths New Audiences – says Decipher’s latest Mediabug Report”

Amazon and Netflix: a UK snapshot

Those with one eye on Los Angeles last night will have seen Amazon and Netflix put in a strong performance at the Emmy Awards, with programming from their respective streaming services winning a total of nine awards between them from a joint total of 46 nominations. Amazon’s Transparent was the evening’s big winner.

It left us all here at Decipher intrigued as to the impact Netflix is having upon the UK television market, and we dived into the upcoming Wave 7 of our Mediabug survey to find out. more “Amazon and Netflix: a UK snapshot”

Growth in Subscription Video on Demand Driven by over 35’s – says Decipher’s latest Mediabug report


New figures from Decipher’s bi-annual media consumption report Mediabug have shown how growth in usage of subscription VOD services like Netflix and Amazon Prime has been solely due to those over the age of 35.

Mediabug Wave 6, released today, reports that 30% of UK consumers use an SVOD service each month, an increase of +4% in 6 months. However this growth has come from older age groups, with 35-44’s (+7%), 45-54’s (+15%), and 55+ (+8%) age ranges all increasing their usage, whilst 16-24’s dropped 12% over the same period. Both Netflix and Amazon Prime grew their subscriber bases over this period, with Netflix adding +6% to their paid subscribers, and Amazon Prime adding +3%. more “Growth in Subscription Video on Demand Driven by over 35’s – says Decipher’s latest Mediabug report”

Sky Winning In the New ‘Buy & Keep’ Battleground

By Dani Sheen

Twitter: @DSheen_Decipher  Email:


For the latest version of Decipher’s VOD Audit, we have added a new area of interest – the ‘Buy & Keep’ movie! This is the newly emerging function by which viewers can purchase a permanent digital copy of a movie, rather than just renting it from their TV service.

Both Sky and BT have added this function to their set top boxes in recent months and TalkTalk are expected to do the same by integrating their recent BlinkBox acquisition. For now, the VOD report just compares the services from Sky and BT. more “Sky Winning In the New ‘Buy & Keep’ Battleground”

There Is A New Row Brewing…..!

By Matthew Walters –

Head and shouldersThere is a new row brewing between broadcasters and the platforms and its going to be a good one. We had a hint at it after the recent Fox/Dish legal battle.   It hit our shores here in the UK with the arrival of the EE box and its Replay Service in particular.  The next confrontation will come with the new Sky box later this year.  There have been strong hints that Sky are going to import a ‘Replay’ functionality that has proved popular in the Italian Sky box.  What all three examples have in common is that they feature the platform operator (who control the set top box), using the PVR to create a catch up function without the agreement of the broadcaster. more “There Is A New Row Brewing…..!”

The US and UK TV markets: the differences and why they’re important

By Nigel Walley – @nwalley –

Sept 2011 - New NW BW Head & Shoulders (thumbnail)Late last year, HBO and CBS in the US announced web streaming services that sent the US trade press into paroxysms of ‘cord-cutting’ hyperbole.   ‘HBO Go’ and ‘CBS All Access’ were feted as marking ‘the end of TV’.   At the time we thought it was strange that their launch was also reported breathlessly by the UK trade press, as though it had some strategic relevance to us.  In Decipher, we barely gave it a nod.  The main reason is that we have had both the equivalent launches here already without the world caving in (for HBO read Sky’s NOW TV [left, below], and for CBS read ITV Pay).  They have had only limited impact on our market. more “The US and UK TV markets: the differences and why they’re important”

An Open Letter To Our Friends at Sky

By Decipher –

070716 Decipher SquareDear Friends At Sky

As you know, we at Decipher love few things more than a new set-top box, and – if there isn’t a full-scale launch to talk about – then the next best thing for us is to ruminate on what might be coming down the track.

Our interest was piqued by a report on a potential new Sky box in last week’s The Telegraph (who, coincidentally, first broke the news last April of your Project Ethan development initiative). This new article speculated that you would bring forward the release of a new set-top box to this spring – a whole nine months to a year before we expected to see its arrival in UK living rooms. This was partly driven by their claiming that the internal name for Ethan was once “Project 2016”. more “An Open Letter To Our Friends at Sky”

Ad-tech and fraud: the industry responds

Head and shoulders

By Matthew Walters –

At the turn of the year, we at Decipher wrote a piece on these pages asking whether the advent of future ad-tech – against the backdrop of ad-tech itself, the web and television becoming ever more converged – required a new form of (at present, extremely limited) regulatory oversight.  This was in reaction to a story, first published in the Financial Times and subsequently elsewhere, that over the course of a one-month investigation 72% of ad impressions being offered on open exchanges under the were fraudulent. Such was the scale of the problem that the FT chose to write directly to advertisers, warning them not to trust inventory being traded on open exchanges and to only use the FT’s trusted seller. more “Ad-tech and fraud: the industry responds”