Enders: VOD growth will help UK broadcasters reign supreme for years

Even during last year's pandemic, a person's average video viewing went up by only 12 minutes per day.

Enders: broadcasters have shown resilience by developing tech solutions
Enders: broadcasters have shown resilience by developing tech solutions

Broadcasters will remain the biggest provider of video content in six years' time, despite the growing prominence of streaming platforms Netflix and Amazon, Claire Enders is forecasting.

The Enders Analysis founder’s keynote at yesterday’s Campaign Breakfast Briefing event told a bullish story for the future of TV broadcasters in the UK, which she forecast will account for 62% of total video in 2027.

Even though "live content" will reduce as a proportion of viewing behaviour, she expects broadcasters’ video-on-demand platforms, such as ITV Hub and All 4, to grow their audiences in the coming years. 

YouTube and “other online video” are also expected to grow between now and 2027 as a bigger proprtion of people watch streaming video, rather than linear television.

The total amount of video viewing per person, however, is expected to remain stable at between four and four-and-a-half hours per day, or 250 to 265 minutes.

Even during the pandemic last year, when many people both worked from home and spent more time there under varying societal restrictions, Enders said video viewing went up only by about 12 minutes.

“Twelve minutes is substantial, but it can accommodate an awful lot of other choices in a country of 65 million people,” Enders said. “We’ve also seen a resilience of Virgin Media and Sky… all of these companies have proven to be extraordinarily resilient and, in fact, lead with their technology solutions to complexity, which is very very important.”

Last year both ITV and Channel 4 each announced that their video-on-demand platforms would become a greater focus of their business as the pandemic appeared to accelerate the trend of people watching TV on VOD platforms rather than live. 

Enders added: “The broadcasters themselves are really largely now under the tent of Sky and Virgin Media in terms of [being] protected from actual technology risk. I think that we will see continued, very strong growth in the video-on-demand offerings of broadcasters.”

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