Ofcom published results of the consumer research commissioned from the Essential Research Ltd on 23 October. The aim of the research was to explore consumer attitudes and behaviour in relation to on-demand audiovisual services and to help Ofcom understand which services are regarded by users as competing alternatives to linear TV and why.
The research found that viewers selected services according to three main factors: mood, context and content. Linear TV remained the first choice for certain types of content, such as news, live sport, soaps and big events. However, many of the participants expressed their frustration with linear TV regarding quality of content, amount of advertising and rigidity of schedule. Although linear TV counted for more than half of total viewing time for the majority of respondents, video-on-demand was watched with a higher level of engagement than linear TV, the programming of which often acted as "background noise" or a time-filler.
With regard to the participants’ views on whether an on-demand service is to be considered as “TV-like” or not, the research identified ten key factors, among which are the purpose and look of a service, frequency of content refreshment, length, volume and quality of content.