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Live TV Continues to Prosper in the UK Despite Video on Demand

Live television continues to drive the video consumption market in the UK despite the availability of video-on-demand (VOD) services, according to new research from QuickPlay Media. ­Regardless of device used for viewing, more than four in ten (42%) consumers still only watch live content compared to only 28% and 29% of those questioned in Canada and the USA respectively.

In a 2012 survey of UK mobile subscribers, half of respondents selected live TV as their viewing preference over VOD and this trend for live video content on the second screen has only been amplified over the last twelve months. Three quarters of respondents in 2013 only watch live TV on a smartphone compared to those in the US where 46% watch more VOD than live TV. A similar skew is also visible when looking at video consumption across tablet devices with 59% of UK consumers watching more live content than VOD compared to only 44% and 27% of US and Canadian respondents respectively.

These results are only logical when the preferences for video content consumption are taken into account. Over four in five consumers who watch sporting events and news prefer to watch these types of content live across all three regions while in contrast, the largest preference for VOD is for movie consumption with less than half of consumers in the UK (40%) and US (49%) ranking this as a key preference. And this is all despite the fact that the VOD services currently available are rated as easy to use by 94% of UK respondents while boasting a better content selection than live services (78% vs. 59%) as well as being more convenient (96% vs. 79%).

Nikki Gore, VP Marketing, QuickPlay Media, said, “Mobile viewing figures around the 2012 Olympic Games suggested that live TV was going to become an increasingly important differentiator for successful multiscreen services and these results highlight just that. Consumers want and expect to be able to view video content in real time, wherever they are, and whatever device they choose to watch it from.

“To ensure their long term success, service providers must factor in both the right content and also the right systems to offer live content to customers without compromising on quality of experience. After all, 67% of UK consumers would use their devices more if quality of programming was improved and network connection was faster (58%). If these criteria are addressed, video services will become increasingly sticky across the customer base, reducing churn and paving the way for service expansion in months and years to come.”


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