26 July, 2018
High level of investment in original content is a key driver
On 18 July 2018, Ofcom published the very first edition of Media Nations 2018, a comprehensive study of major trends in the UK’s television, radio and audio sectors. Media Nations is a reference publication for industry, stakeholders, academics and consumers which provides data and analysis on traditional broadcast television and radio services, and on the take-up and impact of subscription on-demand and streaming services. Of particular interest is the data report accompanying the study which provides interactive access to an extensive range of data.
The report highlights a competitive shift within the UK television industry, driven by the rise of the major global internet companies and the changing habits and preferences of UK audiences. The study finds that:
The take-up of superfast broadband and connected TV sets is changing how people watch television programmes: Viewing of broadcast television on the TV set fell in 2017 to an average 3 hours 23 min per day; since 2012, there has been a total decline of 38 min (15.7%). However, time spent using the TV set overall remains constant as viewing of non-broadcast content increases. Non-broadcast content (incl. SVoD such as Netflix, and YouTube viewing) makes up 42 mins (17%) of the 4 hours 9 minutes of total TV and AV content watched per day on a TV set. Younger viewers drive the change in viewing habits while the profile of broadcast TV viewers continues to get older.
The rise of online video is changing the picture for the TV industry: there are now more subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon and NOW TV than there are to ‘traditional’ pay-TV services. 11.1 mio households (39.3%) have at least one of either Netflix, Amazon or NOW TV. The high level of investment in original content is a key driver. Pay TV revenues have declined for the first time, after a period of sustained growth.
Audiences continue to watch and value public service broadcasting, especially news, children’s programming and UK-made programmes. PSM remain a trusted source of news in the digital age. Providing 'news programmes which are trustworthy’ continues to be considered the most important PSB purpose by regular viewers (84% in 2017). However some worrying trends indicate that spending on new, UK made programmes by the public service broadcasters fell to a record low. Spend on some PSB genres such as new UK children’sprogramming is also at a record low.
The viability of local TV services remains uncertain with many local TV services continuing to face challenges in generating revenue.
While digital listening is transforming the radio landscape, radio continues to be resilient.
Media Nations 2018
News release on the report
Key trends in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Source: Ofcom's Website