Linear TV loses out at Xmas

24 December 2013
LONDON: UK consumers are increasingly likely to shun the Christmas TV schedules and turn instead to on-demand services on other devices, according to new research.

Blinkbox, the video-on-demand service run by supermarket Tesco, polled 2,000 adults on their Christmas viewing habits and found that 80% were "fed up" with the number of repeated shows and movies on free-to-air television, The Drum reported.

As a result, almost half (43%) said they were planning to watch more on-demand TV, peaking on Boxing Day (December 26th) which, the survey established, was the most popular day for movie and TV watching.

Blinkbox said it was planning a major sale then. As well as consumer behaviour, it anticipated it would benefit from pre-Christmas sales of Tesco's new Hudl tablet, which features Blinkbox apps.

A recent YouGov survey found that 10% of the country's adult population expected to buy or receive a tablet over the festive period, and among those hoping to receive one, 17% were hoping to get a Hudl. Tablet ownership generally was rising fastest among 35-44 year olds.

Over the year as a whole, Blinkbox said sales via tablets were up 1,230% year on year, while sales via games consoles and connected TVs had risen more than 500%.

The array of connected devices available meant, said Tesco digital officer and Blinkbox co-founder Michael Comish, that the fight to be the entertainment hub of choice was "heating up".

He added that Britons were not watching less television but were rather "enjoying better content on a variety of screens".

"Access to more and more great content on demand will mean less of us are dozing off in front of the screen by 8pm," Comish said.

Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff
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