GM Thought of the Week: BARB and SVOD


GM Thought of the Week: BARB and SVOD

In January BARB released a new report looking into the growth of SVOD services across the UK. These subscription-based services include Netflix, Amazon Video and NOW TV.


The report focused on unidentified viewing, which refers to the time where a TV is being used to do something other than watching BARB reported channels or on-demand services. This could be using games consoles or watching programmes more than 28 days after broadcast. BARB’s report can’t be 100% certain, but the evidence points to SVOD services representing a large proportion of this.  Time spent on unidentified viewing increased to 19% of TV set activity in the 12 month period being reviewed.


The report found that over 46% (11.6m) of UK homes now have at least one SVOD provider; Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or NOW TV , which is an increase of 22% year-on-year. Netflix is the main driver of this increase having added 2.2m homes compared to Q3 2017. Amazon has also shown impressive growth of more than 1m whilst Now TV has added just under 200,000 subscribers.


The impressive increase of Netflix is likely to have been aided by Sky, who in November made its platform available to Sky Q customers through their box. This shows that Sky are working in allegiance with the SVOD platform rather than trying to fight the subscription giant.


Interestingly, the report looked into the popularity of these SVOD Services based on the age of the children that live in the household. All three services are popular with households that have children. NOW TV is popular among families with babies and toddlers, while Netflix is more favoured in homes with tweens and young teens.


Amazon has also attracted users with young families, and interestingly has more subscribers with children aged 0-9 years than Netflix. This is despite Netflix seemingly  leading the way with content and generating buzz around new releases such as Bird Box (reportedly watched by 45m accounts in its first week of release according to Netflix).


This could lead us to the conclusion that having young children in the household adds pressure, and the double bonus of on-demand content and next day delivery of urgently needed household items, is enticing these families towards Amazon.


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