UK free-to-air broadcasters are the most successful within Europe at encouraging their audiences to use catch-up BVoD services, ahead of those from Sweden, Germany and Denmark. An analysis of 25 broadcasters, in eight markets—focused on those viewers that have either watched a channel or used a catch-up service owned by a broadcaster in the past month—shows that only four broadcasters in Europe see over half their audience using the associated catch-up service. They are the BBC and ITV in the UK and SVT and TV4 in Sweden. On average, an associated catch-up service is used by 28% of the monthly linear audience and, other than the big four, this is fairly consistent across most markets. The BBC has the highest engagement, with over two-thirds of its regular linear audience now using BBC iPlayer monthly. Over the past ten years, catch-up services have had success in converting linear audience users to companion on-demand, enabling them to watch the same content outside of the broadcast channel model.
An additional benefit of a strong catch-up service is its potential to extend the broadcaster's reach to (typically younger) viewers who would otherwise not watch the broadcaster's content on linear channels. Across the study just 3.3% of consumers on average watched catch-up content from a broadcaster without watching the associated linear channels regularly and thus represent new audience reach. Here once again, the BBC leads significantly, with iPlayer extending it's overall reach in the UK to nearly 10% more households each month.
Netflix is trialling a low-cost mobile-only subscription plan in India to drive growth and bring its price closer to its SVoD competitors in a country were video consumption on mobile is high. The plan is being trialled with select users and costs Rs250 a month ($3.63). Although the new mobile-only plan is more expensive than plans provided by competitors (a basic monthly subscription to Hotstar costs Rs199 and Amazon Prime Video costs Rs129), it demonstrates Netflix’s desire to be more competitive in the region.
India has high smartphone usage and an emerging population of mobile Internet users. In Ampere’s Q1 2019 consumer tracking study, among Indian internet users, 57% indicated that they used their smartphone to watch video every day. This was only second to China (among the 20 markets surveyed) where 68% watch video daily on a smartphone. Indian Netflix users watch far more video than the average user; 64% watch daily.
As well as tapping into the country’s high smartphone video viewing, the plan could bring about opportunities for partnerships between Netflix and mobile operators. This is because the automatic mechanism to pay monthly for a digital service through traditional banking is something very few people in India have the means to do and operators can act as mediators between SVoD companies and consumers. One example is Netflix’s partnership with Vodafone in India which incorporates the service as part of a bundle. The mobile-only plan and such partnerships help the company embrace the local preference for smartphone payment services.
Having access to an SVoD service doesn’t mean that consumers stop buying content. Indeed, some service combinations seem to encourage buying and renting of movies both digitally and on physical disc.
In a sports-loving market where high-profile rights are key to attracting subscribers, Sony's Olympic deal shows it's looking to scoop up remaining rights to compete with Star and its impressive portfolio of sports content.
French pay TV group Canal+ launches a new subscription OTT product, Canal+ Series. But is the new service doomed to the same fate as its unlucky predecessor CanalPlay?
Telefonica looks to drive fixed-mobile convergence success in South America, selling out of markets in which it has limited fixed presence.