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UK EST TV seasons favour older comedy and more recent documentaries

The number of TV seasons available in the UK on digital retail (EST) platforms such as iTunes and Google Play hit 53,000 in March 2018. But while the title count climbs, the genre mix of those titles has changed, reflecting wider trends in the TV industry and the maturing of online video platforms. 

Comedy titles accounted for over a third of key genre titles released from 2008 and 2009. However, as a proportion of titles, comedy has dropped away in more recent release years down to around 25% of releases from 2014-2017. Comedy titles were among the first TV show titles to be released for the transactional market and this trend in digital also reflects TV boxset releases on physical video.

From 2012 and 2013, children and family TV titles swell the number of titles available, accounting for 26% of the titles from that period. This is more reflective of the age of these titles; many more recent children’s shows have gained a longer lease of life through SVoD platforms that enable their target audience to watch and re-watch such titles again and again.

Among the most recently aired titles available are a higher proportion of Documentary and Biography titles, representing 30% and 29% of releases from 2016 and 2017 respectively. Conversely, Animation titles from those years account for a far smaller proportion of titles, dropping from 18% of key genre titles in 2014 to just 10% of titles first aired in 2017. Second-tier documentaries have gained traction among consumers, partly following in the wake of successful major franchises like “Blue Planet.”

TV season releases on EST platforms can be explored through Ampere’s Home entertainment tracker.