New Mediabug report shows that SVOD is not cannibalising the UK Pay TV base

160504 hamishBy Hamish McPharlin

New research from Decipher has shown that Pay TV subscriptions have not only increased since 2012, but SVOD subscriptions are growing faster amongst Pay homes – and in particular those with Top Tier packages – than any other.


Decipher’s latest Mediabug report has thrown up the intriguing possibility that the arrival of SVOD services in the market may have actually helped, not hindered, the Pay TV market. The bi-annual analysis of 3,000 UK consumers tracks adoption and use of SVOD in both Pay TV and Free TV homes. This latest report shows that the total Pay TV base has continued to grow from 61% to 69% of the UK population over the last four years (FIGURE 1). During this time, SVOD usage in Pay TV homes has grown from 10% to 45%. This indicates than there is a growing cohort of UK consumers that are increasingly comfortable with both Pay TV and SVOD.

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Finally, Decipher has its own Tracker!

On the consultancy and advisory side of Decipher, we have often had some serious bones of contention with how your average consumer survey or tracker goes about measuring things such as take-up of devices, ownership and behaviour. We are consistently irritated with the banality and surface level nature of the questions which are asked in said trackers….not mentioning any names of course! We have long stressed to survey providers and quantitative research companies that with the fast moving nature of TV tech it simply is not enough to ask questions such as ‘Do you have a Smart TV?’ without enquiring as to its make or model. Likewise it is insufficient to ask questions such as ‘How often do you use iPlayer?’ without also discovering whether this use is in home or away from home, what device it is through and a multitude of other crucial but slightly weird questions. It might seem like we’re nit-picking here, but going deeper than surface level when asking these questions is vital in any serious attempt to put together a true picture of consumer behaviour with regard to this world.

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