Streamed TV increasingly popular in the UK, KPMG’s latest Media & Entertainment Barometer reveals

Streamed TV increasingly popular in the UK

Consumers are increasingly willing to pay for online streaming services, while smartphone and tablet ownership and spend continues to rise.

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Press Release

Streamed TV is becoming more mainstream in the UK with the use of online streaming services such as BBC iplayer, ITV iplayer or 4oD on the rise, particularly among younger people, according to the latest KPMG Media & Entertainment Barometer.*

Among streaming services offered in the UK, BBC iPlayer currently has the highest level of awareness with nine in ten people having heard of the online streaming service, followed by ITV player and LoveFilm. The survey also reveals that consumers are increasingly willing to pay for services. 64 percent of respondents said they would pay for films online (60 percent in March 2011). Appetite to pay for TV has also been creeping up, from 27 percent in September 2010, to 28 percent in March 2011 to 30 percent by October 2011. Among those who are or would consider becoming a paid subscriber, film, music and TV is the preferred type of content that consumers are or would be willing to pay for.

David Elms, Head of Media at KPMG comments: “Judging by our survey it seems that new entrants into the UK market have got their timing right. The foundations for online streaming services to be successful appear to be set. Not only is awareness and usage of streaming high, but willingness to pay for content has increased too. There are, however, barriers, not least the likely cost of set top boxes. What is more, by the end of 2012, everyone in the UK will have digital terrestrial TV, with the choice of between 20 and 30 channels. That’s a lot of free TV. It is possible that the majority of TV households don’t actually need anything more.”

Other key findings:

  • Smartphone and tablet ownership continues to rise.
  • 44% of respondents said they own a smartphone as their main phone (compared to 36% six months ago and 27% in 2010).
  • More than three quarters of respondents (78%) use their smartphones to browse the internet and over two thirds (67%) are using them for social networking.
  • Tablet usage has almost doubled since September 2010 and owners continue to use tablets for a wide range of activities. This suggests that tablet owners are becoming more familiar and confident using their tablets as well as increased functionality on account of a wider range of available ‘apps’.
  • Smartphone and tablet spend is up
  • Successive waves of our research show that the average spend on smartphone and tablet apps is increasing, with eBooks taking up the largest share.
  • Among those who download paid apps, the average spend is now £6.97 on smartphone (up from £5.65 six months ago).
  • The average monthly spend on tablet apps has increased too £10.78 (from £8.87 six months ago).
  • Usage of traditional media continues to decline
  • The majority of respondents said they prefer the use of “traditional media” such as reading physical books or watching TV; however the consumption of traditional media continues to be on the decline (with the exception of watching TV).

In contrast, online newspapers and magazines as well as digital books are becoming increasingly popular, a trend that appears to be driven by the expanding tablet and eReader market. More than half of respondents (55%) said they had read online newspapers in the last month (compared to 40% six months ago) and 14% said they had read digital books (compared to 8% six months ago). Increases in social media usage are also apparent along with online music streaming and downloads. However, money spent on both traditional and new media has remained stable. Consumers will spend most on eBooks and music download within new media activities; most likely because these are the most expensive to access compared to streaming music/TV, which at the moment tend to be free via online services.

David Elms comments: “We continue to see mobile media as an attractive means to monetise content, given the continuing rise in the uptake of smartphones, tablets and eReaders. Whilst consumers continue to embrace new media at a rapid pace, a “mixed ecology” persists, with a majority still enjoying traditional media such as reading books or watching TV.”

- ENDS -

Note to editors:

*KPMG’s Media and Entertainment Barometer is a survey conducted every six months by YouGov on KPMG’s behalf. It provides an insightful view into emerging media consumption trends. The latest survey sampled 2177 people aged 16 years plus in the UK. Data was subsequently weighted to be nationally representative of the UK population.

For further information please contact:

Katrin Boettger, Senior PR Manager


T: +44 207 896 4232

M: 0782 4475168

Media enquiries

KPMG Press Office: 020 7694 8773

About KPMG:

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with over 11,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.7 billion in the year ended September 2011. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 152 countries and have 145,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity.

KPMG International provides no client services.

This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.

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