Rising smartphone and tablet ownership added to a strong user willingness to spend money on products and services is driving streamed TV uptake according to continues to the latest KPMG Media & Entertainment Barometer.
The Barometer which surveys UK consumers every six months on media consumption, in this case 2177 people aged 16 years plus, concluded that the increased adoption of online streaming services such as the BBC iPlayer, the ITV Player and Channel 4’s 4oD is becoming more mainstream in the UK, particularly among younger people. Indeed among streaming services offered in the UK, the iPlayer, not surprisingly, has the highest level of awareness with nine in ten people having heard of the online streaming service, followed by the ITV Player and, very interestingly, LOVEFiLM, which has spent the last few weeks bolstering its content proposition to fend off the recently launched Netflix over the top (OTT) service in the UK and Ireland.
But recognition is one thing, monetisation is another and in this regard the survey perhaps revealed its most crucial finding that nearly two thirds (64%) of users were increasingly willing to pay for films online (up from 60% in March 2011) and that the appetite to pay for TV has risen slowly from 27% in September 2010, to 28% in March 2011 to 30% by October 2011. KPMG found also that among those who are or would consider becoming a paid subscriber, film, music and TV is the preferred type of content that consumers are or would be willing to pay for.
Further driving this uptake was an uptick in mobile device users with 44% saying that they owned a smartphone as their main phone (36% six months ago and 27% in 2010) yet more interestingly tablet usage more than doubled since September 2010 as owners continued to use tablets for a wide range of activities. This, KPMG suggested, was an indication that tablet owners are becoming more familiar and confident using their tablets as well as increased functionality on account of a wider range of available ‘apps’.
Commented KPMG’s Head of Media, David Elms: “Judging by our survey it seems that new entrants into the UK market have got their timing right. The foundations for online streaming services to be successful appear to be set. Not only is awareness and usage of streaming high, but willingness to pay for content has increased too. There are, however, barriers, not least the likely cost of set top boxes. What is more, by the end of 2012, everyone in the UK will have digital terrestrial TV, with the choice of between 20 and 30 channels. That’s a lot of free TV. It is possible that the majority of TV households don’t actually need anything more.”
Looking at the topic of mobile, Elms added: “We continue to see mobile media as an attractive means to monetise content, given the continuing rise in the uptake of smartphones, tablets…Whilst consumers continue to embrace new media at a rapid pace, a “mixed ecology” persists, with a majority still enjoying traditional media such as reading books or watching TV.”