The Switch To A Streaming Future Is Underway

Miles Weaver
Miles Weaver Marketing Director

The Media Nations 2018 survey, has examined major trends in the UK media sector and has highlighted a definite swing away from pay-TV viewing and in favour of streaming services. This follows from a previous entry in this blog, where we analysed the results of the Decoding the Default survey, which showed that US viewers are also increasingly turning to On Demand services as their primary source of content.

The Media Nations survey found that the amount of time that UK viewers spend watching broadcast television on a TV set last year was down from 3 hours 31 minutes to 3 hours 22 minutes, a decline of 4.2%. Keeping trend with other surveys, older demographics that continue to watch broadcast content on their TVs are the primary reason why this number is not lower, watching four times as much broadcast TV as younger age groups last year.

The most eye popping reveal though, was that the number of subscribers to the UK’s biggest On Demand services (Amazon Prime, Netflix and NOW TV) surpassed the number of pay-TV subscriptions for the first time ever – 15.4 million subs to 15.1 million. Not uncoincidentally, pay-TV revenues have also started to decline, as has advertising spend on traditional TV.

As we concluded when looking through the numbers of the Hub Entertainment survey last week, the Media Nations 2018 survey shows definitively that the shift to a streaming future is well underway. OTT subscriptions are outpacing pay-TV for the first time, which is not a trend that is likely to reverse at any point in the near future, while ad-spend is increasingly starting to focus towards digital platforms as well, as the value of promotion on traditional TV beings to fade.

The oldest TV market in the world has reached the the linear/digital crossroads, as convenience, demographics and technological opportunity enable a form of viewing – that was nothing more than far flung a concept ten years ago – into the dominant form of media consumption. It behooves content owners and broadcasters of all shapes and sizes to get on board this train now, so that audiences can be captured and loyalty can be built while the market is still transitioning. There has never been a better time to do it.

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Miles Weaver

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Miles Weaver Marketing Director
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