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Older viewers turn to SVOD

News, 25 May 2015

LONDON: The use of subscription video on-demand (SVOD) services in the UK is growing as an increasing number of older consumers avail themselves of this platform.

At the same time, younger consumers have turned sharply away from SVOD according to a new report from media research business Decipher.

Its biannual Mediabug study – the most recent is Wave 6 – shows that 30% of UK consumer now use an SVOD service such as Netflix and Amazon Prime at least once a month, a 4% rise over the past six months.

Breaking down the figures, however, reveals that fewer younger consumers are doing so, as the proportion of 16-24 year olds watching content this way dropped from 52% to 40%. For 35-34 year olds the proportion was steady on 45%.

In contrast, older age groups were steadily increasing their use of this platform: the proportion of 35-44 year olds watching via SVOD was up seven percentage points to 38%, while that for the over 55s was up eight points to 15%.

The most dramatic shift came in the 45-54 age range where the proportion using SVOD jumped 15 points to 35%.

The increasing availability of SVOD services on televisions is a major factor in this shift, as Decipher reported a movement away from non-TV devices towards those that enable TV viewing.

Thus it had seen an increase in online VOD share for smart TVs and OTT devices such as Apple TV and Google Chromecast, while PCs in particular were losing share.

"We're seeing a subtle shift in tone when it comes to digital consumption," said Dr. Hamish McPharlin, director of Decipher Media Research.

"With over-35s getting on board with subscription VOD, we can see that it has moved past early adopter behaviour and is gaining mainstream acceptance, and this is driven by SVOD becoming increasingly accessible on the most popular mainstream device: the TV."

Films were found to be the most popular VOD choice, with just over a third of TV VOD viewers accessing films on-demand in the last month.

Data sourced from Decipher; additional content by Warc staff