UK SVOD Viewing Still Strong Despite Lockdown Lift

Close up of woman's hand with a television remote control changing channels

By Jonathan Easton

Any idea that OTT viewing in the UK would cool off as lockdown restrictions were lifted have been proved unfounded, with a new report showing that SVOD viewing still remains high.

According to new data from Ampere Analysis covering Q3 2020, the easing of lockdown in June has not deterred people from watching streaming services – with 64 per cent of Internet users using an SVoD service in the past month.

The report adds that this puts SVODs ‘neck-and-neck’ with broadcaster video on demand (BVOD) for the first time, with the recent launch of platforms like Disney+ contributing to this growth.

Amazon Prime Video stands out as a big winner in the report, with the streamer seeing its monthly active users grow from 18% of Internet users in Q1 to 21 per cent in Q3. This will have no doubt been at least in part down to heavy marketing around original series The Boys and, especially in the UK, football docuseries All Or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur.

Ampere Analysis Consumer Research Lead, Minal Modha said: As consumers spend more time at home while restrictions on some out-of-home activities persist, they are prompted to watch greater amounts of content and those platforms with larger catalogues will be the ones to benefit most.

“Disney+ also launched at a fortuitous time as many children were off school and parents signed up to help keep them entertained. Both of these factors have contributed to high usage of SVoD platforms in Q3.

Looking at demographics, the report goes on to say that the biggest rise in time with SVOD comes from 45-54 year-olds, with this group spending almost double the amount of time watching platforms like Netflix year-over-year.

All age groups have increased their SVOD content watching, with 18-24 year olds leading the charge with 1 hour 45 minutes per day. Unsurprisingly, the oldest group in the study – 55-64 year olds – consume the least amount of SVOD content at approximately 20 minutes per day.

The report goes on to point out that each age group is currently one year behind the previous in terms of time spent. For example, 18-24 year olds in Q3 2019 said that they watched SVOD for 1 hour 20 minutes per day – with that figure almost the same as claimed by 25-34 year olds in Q3 2020.

Modha said: This is particularly interesting because it gives an indication of how much time each age group may spend watching SVOD in a year’s time, and help SVoD services in their strategy to produce and acquire content for both those older audiences who are increasing their viewing time, but also for that core young demographic who are continuing to consume more of their TV via SVOD.​

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