The number of UK homes using one least one of the UK’s three big subscription video-on-demand services climbed 20% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to BARB.
The UK ratings body’s latest annual Viewing Report said that 12.3 million homes in the UK had at least one of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Now TV in Q4 2018, based on BARB Establishment Survey data.
“Netflix is the main driver of this increase, having added 2.2 million homes compared to Q4 2017,” according to the report. “Amazon too has shown impressive growth, adding more than a million homes, while Now TV has added just under 100,000.”
The number of UK homes with two or more SVOD services was also up 32% year-on-year from 3.26 million to 4.3 million.
Although SVOD companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime don’t allow BARB to measure viewing of their services, the measurement company did note that time spent on ‘unidentified viewing’ was up from 41 to 48 minutes per day on average in 2018.
This means that 20% of all TV set activity was dedicated to watching unidentified content, up from 17% a year earlier, with BARB claiming to have a growing body of evidence that points to SVOD services being the “primary catalyst” for this.
“It’s important to bear in mind that unidentified viewing is still a fifth of the time spent with the TV set, and not all unidentified viewing is to SVOD services; it also includes games playing on consoles and watching programming more than 28 days after broadcast,” said BARB. “However, it’s clear that SVOD services are very likely to account for a significant proportion of this viewing.”
“We recognise the industry’s desire to unpack unidentified viewing, regardless of whether the service provider wants to be measured by BARB. This is why we are investigating the use of router meters in panel homes as a potential solution for identifying SVOD viewing.”