21/04/2021   Annabel Yeomans
Competing with the SVoD giants: UK broadcasters find catch-up success

Viewing habits across the big five European markets–France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK–are shifting online. According to Ampere’s Q1 2021 survey, for example, 48% of UK internet users now report that online services are the main way they watch content, up from 37% in Q1 2018. In order to keep these audiences engaged with their content, broadcasters in Europe as elsewhere will be reliant on their online catch-up services.

Across the big five European markets overall, 34% report watching only SVoD services, while 33% watch both SVoD and catch-up services, and just 9% watch only catch-up services. However, in the UK, almost half of consumers (49%) watch both SVoD and catch-up services, 18% watch only SVoD services, while 15% only watch catch-up services, making it the strongest catch-up market in Europe.

The UK is also the only market in the European big five where the most watched long-form streaming service is a local broadcaster’s catch-up platform: 52% of consumers reported watching BBC iPlayer in the previous month, while Netflix was in second on 46%. In comparison, Netflix was the most viewed SVoD or catch-up service in France, Germany and Spain, while Amazon Prime Video topped the list in Italy. Overall, UK broadcasters have been more successful in converting viewers to their catch-up platforms than their European counterparts. As the preference for online content grows across all markets, can broadcasters from the other European markets learn from the UK’s catch-up success?


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