According to a new report from cloud video platform Grabyo, UK video customers have increased monthly spending on online streaming services by over £100 million, which equates to an uplift of over 25%, since lockdown began in March in the UK.
Grabyo’s UK At Home Video Trends 2020 report surveyed over 2,000 UK consumers on their video consumption and purchasing habits, following a previous survey of 2000 consumers in January. The research analyzed how the radical change in the lives of UK consumers, caused by the COVID-19 health pandemic, has affected the video industry.
The report revealed that 82% of UK consumers currently pay for video services, with 1/3 of these video customers subscribing to at least one new streaming service since March 2020. Using the latest ONS statistics for the UK adult population, the findings of the report suggest an increase of over £100 million monthly spent on streaming.
This huge jump in streaming revenues looks set to continue, with 80% of streaming customers reporting they are planning to continue with the same amount of streaming subscriptions once social isolation measures are lifted in the UK.
Overall, online streaming services have 65% market penetration in the UK, with total adoption up 7% since January 2020. Pay-TV subscriptions have decreased 9% with a current penetration of 53%.
An important trend to follow, the report notes, is that growth in online streaming subscriptions has risen more than 20% for UK consumers aged over 50 since March, with 60% of UK video customers aged between 50-64 now paying for online streaming. Social isolation has accelerated the overall adoption of streaming, leading to closer alignment in video consumption habits between older and younger age groups.
When asked if they were planning to stop paying for broadcast TV services, 60% of pay-TV customers indicated that they had already cut the cord or planned to within the next five years. The positive news for the pay-TV industry is that in January 2020, customers suggested that pay-TV would have a market share of just 28% in five years and this has risen to 40% in the more recent survey. Those who currently subscribe to pay-TV services see value in satellite and cable TV packages, but this may change once social isolation measures are lifted and flexibility and accessibility become priorities once more.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently accelerated the shift to online streaming in the UK.” said Gareth Capon, Grabyo CEO. “With most of the UK population staying at home, online streaming and pay-TV are going head to head in the at-home arena, competing on price, flexibility and the quality and breadth of content. Our findings show that online streaming has come out on top and these changes in the market are here to stay.”
Grabyo’s report also found the shift to digital consumption is also accelerating for ad-funded (free) video services. Free-to-air linear TV audiences have decreased by almost 15% since January, reaching 53%, while the number of consumers using social media regularly to watch video has increased to 68%.
During the absence of live sports and other events, many media organizations have taken to experimenting with live social video formats. Consumers have responded, engaging with these broadcasts and the interactive elements. These audiences have been able to dictate more of what they see on screen, be it voting on polls or submitting comments or questions to presenters or guests in talk shows. The report’s findings suggest this type of viewing experience is now heading into the mainstream.
Capon added: “Back in February our Value of Video report stated that the future of the TV is the internet, and predicted this future wasn’t far away. This report reinforces that trend. Streaming services have been the big winners with consumers forced to stay at home.”