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.