Streaming services winning viewer battle with broadcast TV

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Nearly three-quarters of all Brits now prefer watching streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime rather than traditional terrestrial channels such as ITV, BBC and Channel 4.

That’s according to a report on the rise of connected TV called CTV: The Future Forward by Magnite, the global independent omni-channel sell-side advertising platform

Almost seven out of every ten (69%) UK consumers prefer streaming services to broadcast linear TV (31%). 

The study of 10,500 consumers across the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, identifies how audiences are consuming TV and explores the opportunity for marketers seeking to connect with engaged audiences as the shift to CTV accelerates and consumer behaviour evolves.

Increasing adoption for CTV services

The UK leads in terms of CTV adoption in the EU, according to the report. Among the five countries surveyed, nearly nine in ten (89%) UK respondents reported using a streaming service at least once a week and three-fifths (61%) watched daily. 

UK viewers tune into subscription (SVOD) and ad-supported (AVOD) streaming services almost equally, showing that advertising is not a barrier to adoption, with three-quarters watching SVOD (75%) and AVOD (74%) weekly.

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Times TV: Our habits as viewers are shifting.

The report also found that half (51%) of UK viewers’ time spent watching TV takes place on streaming channels, and if they could only keep one, over half (55%) would choose streaming services versus broadcast linear TV (45%). 

Currently, half (50%) of TV audiences turn first to streaming channels instead of broadcast. 

When delving into the different consumption patterns between CTV and broadcast channels, three-fifths (62%) of viewers watch broadcast TV out of habit, whereas three-fifths (62%) of respondents choose CTV as their default service because it boasted their favourite shows and half (51%) enjoy the greater variety of content.

Millennial streamers

When looking at streaming behaviour by age, the preference is even more pronounced. Nearly seven in ten (70%) Millennials and GenZers go directly to streaming channels first over broadcast.

“We’re experiencing a seismic shift in how individuals are consuming content,” said Julie Selman, UK Managing Director at Magnite. 

“The research demonstrates a significant change in consumer behaviour, with more than half (54%) of UK viewers watching more CTV content now versus a year ago. 

“This acceleration in CTV adoption creates a huge opportunity for advertisers to use the power of CTV to connect with consumers, and reach people where they are enjoying content they love.”

AVOD vs SVOD 

Over two-thirds (67%) of respondents said they would be willing to pay more for streaming services, indicating a healthy appetite for additional streaming content. 

For these consumers who would increase their streaming budget, the average maximum monthly budget was identified as £32, up from the current average monthly spend of £25. 

That being said, UK audiences are still budget-conscious and over four-fifths (85%) said they prefer to watch advertising in exchange for free or reduced-cost streaming services. 

Over three-quarters (77%) would switch to a free or reduced-cost, ad-based tier of a paid streaming service if available.

Advertising opportunities

Over six in ten (63%) UK consumers are receptive to CTV advertising, especially those that are relevant to the show they are watching (77%), relevant to hobbies or interests (75%), or related to online searches (58%). 

And CTV is a key driver in encouraging consumer action signalling the major potential of CTV to deliver on campaign goals; almost eight in ten (78%) have taken an action after exposure to a CTV ad – including online searches and purchasing an advertised product or service.

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Ads on demand: Report claims viewers ok with ads on streaming services.

“Our latest research shows that CTV is more than a brand-building opportunity for advertisers and that CTV exposure leads audiences to take concrete actions”, Selman said. 

“Two-fifths (39%) of viewers recognise that addressable ads are the future of TV advertising. 

“As more marketers learn to harness the addressability opportunities that are available through streaming TV, I am confident we will see TV emerge as a premium, brand-safe, performance marketing channel.”

Media planning

Daniel Knapp, Chief Economist, IAB Europe, said: “Magnite’s research into the rise of connected TV adoption across Europe is vital in educating advertisers on the opportunity to capture audiences’ attention where they’re consuming content. 

“Proof points like these will equip advertisers with actionable insights and the confidence to incorporate CTV into media plans. 

“It’s important to understand the rapid rise in each region, but also acknowledge the nuances in viewing habits, to reach viewers with relevant and targeted advertising in a preferred viewing environment.”