UK viewers keen on new TV services

18 November 2011

LONDON: British consumers are showing strong interest in a range of innovative services that could enhance their TV viewing experience, new research has found.

Red Bee, the consultancy, surveyed over 1,000 people, and found a majority expected to dedicate the same or greater amounts of time to live TV going forward, but 74% "can't find anything to watch" each week.

While broadcasters like the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are likely to retain an "important role", 39% of adults thought some technology and film brands may do a "better job" than existing channel owners.

A further 71% wanted the ability to consume broadcast content whenever they chose and 45% desired the option to play back all episodes of their favourite shows.

Elsewhere, 39% of interviewees believed restrictive "catch-up" periods on video-on-demand platforms like the BBC iPlayer – often limited to a week or month – should be extended.

For 34% of contributors, the capacity to stream content on a screen of their choosing - for example, TV, tablet or mobile - wirelessly at home held a strong appeal, reaching 42% for 16–24 year olds.

A third of viewers suggested the entire live TV schedule ought to be made available on catch-up services and 21% had previously been "frustrated" that they were unable to access UK programmes while overseas.

More broadly, 56% of the panel agreed TV shows should be released simultaneously worldwide, and 57% supported this statement for films. Another 46% predicted piracy levels would fall as a result.

Upon discussing paying for television content, 63% of the sample said they would maintain their current level of expenditure, and 20% expected to spend more in the future.

Meanwhile, 31% of consumers expressed an enthusiasm for new packages provided through web-connected TV sets if they had the power to pick the stations on offer, rather than subscribing to those of little or no personal interest.

A 33% share of the pay-TV audience might also consider downgrading or cancelling their contract if a viable cheaper alternative became available.

The same number would weigh up pursuing this course of action if a service was available that enabled them to watch TV without ads.

Data sourced from Red Bee; additional content by Warc staff