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Digital video viewing is one of the top online activities among UK internet users. Video content has become increasingly available across devices, including desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, video game consoles and internet-enabled TVs. Faster broadband internet speeds, a wealth of available TV, movie and short-form content and a growing number of video viewing platforms have led to greater digital video consumption.
eMarketer expects that between 2013 and 2017, the UK digital video audience will rise from 34.4 million viewers to 40 million. This year, nearly 72% of internet users, or more than half of UK residents, will watch video content online via any device at least once per month. By 2017, digital video viewers will account for more than three-fourths of internet users, or 61% of the UK population. Though viewer numbers are still rising, growth has started to moderate. In 2013 and 2014, the number of digital video viewers will climb at an annual rate just below 6%.
Nearly half of all UK digital video viewers—15.9 million people—will watch video content on mobile phones through a mobile browser, subscription, download or application at least once per month. eMarketer estimates that by the end of the forecast period, mobile phone video viewers will account for nearly two-thirds of UK digital video viewers and just under 50% of all mobile phone users.
While the number of mobile phone video viewers will total less than half of the country’s digital video viewing audience in 2013, the growth rate for mobile phone viewers is significantly higher than for digital video overall. eMarketer expects the UK mobile phone video viewer population to climb 26% this year and remain in the double digits through 2016. The robust adoption of smartphones—combined with increased availability of mobile video content and the expansion of 4G connections—will drive the growth of mobile phone video viewing.
While these factors will boost the number of people watching video on their mobile phones, overall digital video consumption has reached such a mass that an increase in mobile phone video viewers won't impact total digital video viewer numbers. However, the expanding mobile phone video audience means people will spend more time watching digital videos.
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