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Digital video ads served to a UK audience are more likely to be viewed on tablet devices than those served in the US, at least according to data from FreeWheel. The May 2014 report noted that tablets accounted for 17% of total digital video ad views (of ads served through the company’s network) in the UK in Q1 2014. In the US, tablets claimed a share of just 7%.
Tablet penetration in the UK remains on an upward trajectory. eMarketer estimates that 41.1% of the entire UK population will be tablet users in 2014, and that total will reach 57.8% by 2018. This is at least partly influencing the rising share of video ad views on these devices. But the UK figures aren’t too dissimilar to eMarketer’s US tablet penetration figures: 46.2% in 2014 and 52.1% by 2018.
Something else is clearly at play, and further findings from the FreeWheel study help explain a marked difference in tablet video viewing behavior in the UK. In another sharp contrast with the US, a far greater proportion of video ads in the UK were viewed during the consumption of long-form content in Q1 2014—73% vs. 53%.
The digital video landscape in the UK—specifically in the TV space—is particularly well established, with most of the main terrestrial and pay TV broadcasters offering extensive on-demand viewing options. And UK viewers have been taking to TV on tablets for some time.
And not only does this type of TV behavior compare favorably with the US, the UK also overindexes against most other European countries. According to February 2014 polling by Ipsos OTX and Ipsos Global @dvisor, 25% of internet users in Great Britain typically watched TV via video-on-demand services, a proportion well above the other countries polled, while viewing via a mobile stream was cited by 12% of respondents—only Sweden could match that figure.
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