Video-on-demand proving popular in UK

26 August 2010

LONDON: Video-on-demand services are rapidly gaining ground among consumers in the UK, but ads shown during this content are less popular.

A survey from New Media Age, the industry title, and Lightspeed Research, the survey firm, found that 58% of respondents had either watched or downloaded broadcast content through non-traditional platforms in the last six months.

Within this, 45% took part in this activity on a weekly basis.

More specifically, 86% of the panel have used the BBC iPlayer, declining to 43% for ITV Player, 36% for Channel 4's 4oD and 15% for Five's rival property, Demand Five.

Elsewhere, 34% of contributors had also streamed material via the video-sharing portal YouTube, the NMA/Lightspeed study found.

Turning to advertising, 55% of participants would prefer to view commercial communications when shows came to an end, compared with 29% at the start and 3% for conventional breaks.

However, 95% of those polled believed an option to skip brand messages should be included as standard, and 62% thought spots were intrusive.

As 91% of the sample wanted to enjoy free, rather than paid, access to professionally-produced programmes, it appears advertising will continue to possess a central role in this area going forward.

In terms of the methods for playing VOD, 53% of viewers did so using a laptop, 45% employed desktop PCs and 8% exploited the multimedia features on games consoles.

"Unlike linear broadcast, online offers so much interactivity and opportunity for different types of ad formats," said Sarah Rose, head, VOD and channel development, at Channel 4.

"It's everyone's responsibility to explore what makes them more engaging and creative."

Data sourced from New Media Age; additional content by Warc staff