It is a truth universally acknowledged that the UK TV market is facing huge challenges: changing consumer behaviours and expectations, emerging new technologies and features, and the increasing availability of low-cost online video offers are all disrupting the TV industry in the UK as elsewhere. But what exactly is the impact of these factors, what does the future of TV looks like, and what is the best way forward for TV and video providers?

 

MTM’s very own syndicated tracker – ScreenThink – might not have ALL the answers, but it does provide a comprehensive picture of the current state of the UK TV market and where it is heading. We’ve picked out four of the biggest questions facing the TV industry that ScreenThink can help to answer.

 

How, when and where are people watching TV today?

Overall TV viewing (live, playback, BVOD and SVOD) has grown over the last decade, thanks to greater choice and control in terms of where, how and when we can watch. Live TVstill accounts for the majority of our viewing, however, the proportion of live viewing on the TV set has been dropping for years, whilst SVOD and time-shifted viewing have increased. ScreenThink’s data confirms that while live TV is still the main point of call for the majority of people, a quarter of the UK online population now turn to online video services (BVOD, SVOD, TVOD, YouTube) first when looking for something to watch. Not only are more TV services available to us than ever, but we also have a lot more devices that we can watch on. ScreenThink data shows that whilst there is growth in mobile viewing, the TV screen remains the preferred way to watch video content.

 

Are SVOD services friend or foe to pay-TV providers?

SVOD services continue to growand gain more share of viewing. There is evidence in ScreenThink that suggests that the increasing availability and usage of SVOD services is changing consumers’ attitudes and perceptions about pay-TV, particularly in terms of value for money. Our upcoming wave of ScreenThink will explore these shifts in perceptions in more detail, particularly how the integration of SVOD services into pay-TV ecosystems (Netflix and Sky Q, Amazon Prime Video and BT) affects satisfaction and perceptions.

 

Content is king, but who is the king of content? 

What are UK consumers watching and which services provide the best content in their eyes? Content preferences, perceptions and satisfaction with providers’ offerings are key areas for ScreenThink. Our latest wave of research shows that UK internet users predominantly like to watch films, dramas and comedies.  Pay-TV providers deliver the highest satisfaction levels for drama and comedy, while Netflix leads in terms of films.

 

Will voice be the key to TV UX in the future?

In recent years there has been a lot of buzz in the market about a number of TV features, but none has generated as much excitement and discussion as voice control. Ownership of voice-enabled smart speakers has been increasing steadily, but do consumers really use them to access TV content? Not yet, according to ScreenThink, which tracks awareness, usage and importance of advanced TV features. Usage is still at low levels (5% of UK internet users) and has seen no change since Q4 2017. Watch this space: Wave 3 of the ScreenThink research may make it clear whether voice is the future of TV after all.

If you’d like to know more about ScreenThink, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

Julia Teshmer is a Senior Research Executive in MTM’s quantitative team. She knows all about screens as she spends way too much time in front of them.