UK homes spent an average of one hour watching content on a television set during Christmas Day 2016 that was not recorded by the television audience measurement system, and since the start of this year 35% of people have watched something that is not measured (appearing in the unmatched section of BARB data), on the average day, on a TV set. This is according to the research and measurement company GfK, which used Mediatel’s Videoscape this week to highlight the growing impact of connected TV viewing.
To put this 35% figure in context, Julia Lamaison, Media Research & Insight Director at GfK, compared it to how many people have watched some time-shifted or catch-up TV on a typical day (38%) and how many have watched something on a ‘traditional’ TV channel (78%). These daily reach figures are for television set viewing.
She revealed data from GfK showing that UK families that subscribe to at least one SVOD service are watching around one hour of additional content a day (SVOD homes are watching 5 hours and 21 minutes of ‘television’ per average day compared to 4 hours and 20 minutes in a non-SVOD home). The content being measured for these total figures is scheduled/live, recorded/time-shifted, free on-demand/catch-up, free online videos, pirate content, pay-per-view, download-to-own and SVOD.
Some obvious take-aways are that this hour of SVOD viewing is a serious contributor to the non-measured viewing on TV sets and, as Lamaison told the London audience, non-broadcaster TV providers are making a bigger entry onto the TV screen, helped by Smart TVs. She also pointed out that SVOD viewing in homes the company is tracking is almost all additive, even within the 18-34 age group.
GfK launched its SVOD content tracking service 18 months ago, with thousands of UK SVOD subscribers completing a weekly diary to say what they watch. The survey covers three major services – Netflix, Amazon Prime and NOW TV – and also monitors attitudes including why people sign-up to different SVOD services. This reveals the growing importance of Netflix Originals as a differentiator for that service. “A top reason to watch Netflix is to see their content that you cannot get anywhere else. They are becoming a new version of a broadcaster.”
GfK’s SVOD Content Tracker has also highlighted the trend towards multiple-SVOD subscriptions, something that has been noted elsewhere. “People now think they need more than one of these services,” Lamaison said.
Her figures show that in Q3 2016, 40% of the SVOD homes in the GfK tracker service had more than one SVOD subscription, which compares to 27% in Q1 2015. The big shift is from homes that only had Netflix originally and now take another service. Eight per cent of the homes now have three services: Netflix, Amazon and NOW TV (Q3/16). This figure was 6% in Q4 2015.
The precise breakdown of services taken is: 37% have Netflix only, 19% have Amazon only, 4% have NOW TV only, 25% have Netflix and Amazon, 5% have NOW TV with Amazon or NOW TV with Netflix, and 8% have all three services.
In homes that use an SVOD service at least once a week (87% of the GfK tracker population) the average SVOD viewing time is seven hours. It is worth repeating that nearly all this SVOD viewing is additive to the other forms of video viewing (listed above) – confirming previous analyst assertions that SVOD is feeding the appetite of super-viewers who simply cannot get enough content.
Netflix is the most used service. 82% of Netflix subscribers monitored by GfK use the service at least once per week. 56% of Amazon subscribers use their service once a week. For NOW TV the figure is 55% (according to GfK). GfK says the average viewing per week for each service is: Netflix, 6 hours and 55 minutes; NOW TV, 5 hours; Amazon 4 hours and 15 minutes. Netflix has the most equal split between the type of viewing devices used, with TV set viewing roughly similar to PC/laptop, tablet and smartphone.
Lamaison highlighted the main reasons its SVOD respondents give for taking a service in the first place. For Netflix it is firstly to watch original content, secondly to watch episodes back-to-back and then to watch something different to what you can find on normal TV. The top reasons stated for NOW TV are (in order): watch at a time that suits you, cheaper than Pay TV and watch programmes you missed when they were first broadcast. Lamaison says the lack of contract commitments with Pay Lite is an important attraction.
The main reasons for subscribing to Amazon Prime are: access to a library of movies, watching content at a time that suits you, and watching something different to what is on normal TV.
‘The Grand Tour’ – Amazon’s reincarnation of ‘Top Gear’ – is viewed as a clever way to broaden the appeal of the service and it had a big impact after its December launch, with 29% of Amazon users saying they watched the title compared to 8% who watched ‘The Man in the High Castle’ and 5% who watched ‘Lucifer’ – the next most popular shows that month. Taking a leaf out of the broadcaster book, Amazon released an episode of ‘The Grand Tour’ each week.
The GfK attitude survey shows high satisfaction ratings for all three of the SVOD services it covers – and high satisfaction among these SVOD customers for the major broadcaster catch-up services, too. For what it is worth, the survey also shows that Facebook is not greatly loved, but everyone intends to keep using it anyway!
Photo: Julia Lamaison from GfK, speaking at Videoscape