This week, Decipher released the latest figures from Mediabug Wave 6, our bi-annual media consumption tracker. The findings paint a clear picture of growth in video on demand (VOD) viewing, particularly amongst older age groups, and fuelled in part by an increased accessibility to get video on demand services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Now TV to the TV screen.
The high value placed on VOD accessibility to TV screens is no state secret, however what is interesting to track is the changing ways in which viewers are choosing to do so. Whilst VOD via Pay TV set top boxes has been around for quite a number of years, it is growth in consumption through ‘Over The Top’ (OTT) devices that has caught our eye. From weighing up Mediabug data with industry news, I think a battle worth watching will be between Smart TV’s and Google Chromecast: two slightly different ways of watching video on demand on your TV. more “Will Chromecast be significant in the UK?”
August 8 2014
RTLs recent acquisition of a majority stake in SpotXchange gave Decipher a nervous moment of deja vu last week, reminding us of a previous broadcaster’s dramatic foray into emerging digital media.
In 2005, ITV under a previous management regime, paid £175M for the British social media site FriendsReunited. The deal delivered £30M to the founders, Steve and Julie Pankhurst. At the time this was charitably viewed as an ‘unusual’ deal – what Sir Humphrey would have called ‘brave’- although Friends Reunited was one of the most visited UK web sites of its day. But the reality for ITV was this was a deal made in desperation by a management team who didn’t understand the new market that was unfolding in front of them. They needed a ‘digital’ play and didn’t know how to deliver it. more “Is RTL Having A ‘Friends Reunited’ Moment With The SpotXchange Deal?”
Matt McNally, November 2012
In our blog post a couple of weeks ago discussing some of the findings which have come out of the second wave of our Future Media Research Programme (FMRP), we argued that when it comes to remote control functionality on a second screen device, providers have to get the basics right first and then work up to incorporating more of the funky, new-world stuff such as personalisation and integration with other second screen apps. What we didn’t touch on too much was who these providers would be – who is best placed to give me my remote control app? And then who is best placed to give me my interactive second screen apps? Finally, and perhaps most importantly, who is best placed to give me an aggregated and integrated second screen experience?
more “The Battle for the Second Screen”
Adrian Stroud – June 2009
I recently challenged myself to work-out why I still watch so much ‘live’ TV. I don’t mean news or sport because I can rationalise those genres quite easily. I mean bread and butter programming.
The challenge came about because I was debating just how much more damage all the VOD services and PVRs will do to live TV viewing figures in the long-run. This is important because it is those live viewing figures that contribute the vast bulk of advertising impacts. VOD currently delivers far, fewer impacts per hour of viewing than live TV, so the ‘end game’ for advertising funded TV programming is defined by this question. My guess was that live TV won’t drop more than perhaps 25%, no matter how many VOD and time shifting gadgets like Sky+ launch, but I could not say why. I suspect I’m making the mistake of confusing the technology with the benefits.
VOD and the PVR are the rational way to consume all but the livest of live TV events. So, when VOD has all the content you want and it is available on every screen in the house, why would you want to watch ordinary old broadcast TV at all?
more “Why do I still watch broadcast TV?”
See Decipher discuss the Susan Boyle case on Channel 4 news here
Much was made in the press about ITV not earning any revenue from all the people watching the clip of Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent on YouTube. This has been described by various commentators as a missed revenue opportunity, and a commercial failure for ITV. This completely misses the point. Over 50 million people tuned into watch the Susan Boyle clip on YouTube. It was the best two minute ad for a TV programme that has ever been distributed and ITV didn’t pay a penny for the privilege. You have to ask how many posters a TV company would have to buy to get an equivalent, media impact. The only statistic of interest should have been the uplift in audience, from the episode before to the episode after the YouTube explosion of Miss Boyles version of Les Miserables. There was a 2 million uplift.
more “Whose Shares Wins? ITV vs Google”
Commercial TV funded by advertising is an astonishingly scalable business. You can look at the richest territories in the world such as the USA and note that when it is fuelled by $70bn in TV advertising, the TV industry can produce a service that occupies 34 hours a week of leisure time for the average adult. Then look at Serbia, with a TV ad spend that is about 1% of the USA and, you guessed it, they keep the average Serbian adult busy 34 hours a week. I know this ignores other revenue like subscription but you get the point. With a business model that scalable you’d have thought the UK TV industry could absorb a reduction in advertising revenue of a few percent without all the talk of the sky falling-in.
more “No Long Tail Please – I’m Human”
Nigel Walley – Feb 2009 –
There is currently a huge fuss over the regulatory demise of Kangaroo (the online TV joint venture betbetween channel 4, ITV and BBC Worldwide! But there is a school of thought which says it might have been a complete irrelevance. Two reasons: 80% of VOD use at the moment is catch-up (ie programmes from the last seven days) and, apart from Channel 4, the broadcasters were keeping catch up for their own sites. This position was further undermined in the last few months by the BBC iPlayer team’s decision to also ‘series stack’ (God this industry is full of jargon!!) . This means, as an example, if they have a 6 part drama being broadcast, then they will keep all six episodes available in iPlayer catch-up for thirty days after the last episode has been transmitted. This robbed the concept of some of its most attractive catch-up content. Without catch up, you are left with lots and lots of archive TV, whose relevance and attractivness has yet to be proven apart from some very niche audiences. (Yes there will always be a tiny number of wombats who want to watch all those old Red Dwarf episodes).
more “Was the Kangaroo A Red Herring?”