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Google Adds TV to UK Play Service Amid Growth in Video Traffic

Google muscles in on growing internet video traffic in the UK

August 7, 2013 | Video | Media & Entertainment

UK consumers are set to devour more and more video content over the internet in the coming years. A May Cisco Systems study predicted that by 2017, digital video traffic in the UK would amount to 2.2 exabytes per month, representing almost threefold growth from 2012, when traffic volumes accounted for 0.8 exabytes per month.

UK Digital Video Traffic and Usage Metrics, 2012 & 2017

The platforms where consumers will access this digital video content are, as yet, not entirely determined. With a multitude of devices now available in the average UK household, there are more consumption options than ever. However, data from Ofcom indicated that the TV set remains incredibly popular, with 91% of consumers watching TV on the main set each week this year, up slightly from 88% in 2002.

Data from QuickPlay Media, meanwhile, further highlighted how popular the big screen is for long-form content. It asked UK video viewers which devices they used to watch live and video-on-demand (VOD) content. The set-top box—by definition, connected to the TV set—was the most popular device for both live and VOD content.

Devices Used to Watch Live TV and Video-on-Demand (VOD) According to UK Video Viewers, May 2013 (% of respondents)

This pattern of behavior has not been lost on Google. This summer it set about making its move into the UK living room via a two-pronged attack. At the beginning of August it made TV shows available in the Google Play UK store, the first region outside the US to be afforded this functionality. And this news came hot on the heels of Google unveiling its Chromecast device—an HDMI-connectable dongle-type device that allows users to stream media from smartphones, tablets and PCs/laptops straight to the TV set.

With all evidence pointing toward large future increases in streamed video content, plus a continued preference for video viewing on the TV set, these look to be shrewd moves by Google.

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