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UK Consumers Embrace Digital Video Viewing

Half of UK smartphone users now watch video on their phones

August 11, 2015 | Mobile | Video

Digital video viewing is one of the UK’s most widespread digital activities, with almost 60% of the population predicted to watch digital video content via any device at least once per month in 2015, according to eMarketer’s latest forecasts. Unsurprisingly, digital video viewership among the country’s internet user population is even stronger and will approach three-quarters this year.

UK Digital Video Viewers and Penetration, 2014-2019

However, despite its growing popularity, digital video viewer penetration in the UK lags behind some other countries by this measure. In the US, for example, 63.5% of the total population will watch some form of digital video in 2015, eMarketer estimates.

“Where the UK stands out is in what and how its viewers watch. TV content is a particularly large part of digital video viewers’ consumption,” explained eMarketer analyst Bill Fisher. “When it comes to mobile, unlike in other European countries, the thirst for short-form content is less pronounced in the UK. Rather, long-form content reigns supreme, no matter the screen choice, and UK consumers are often willing to pay for the privilege.”

UK Smartphone Video Viewers and Penetration, 2014-2019

Mobile devices are playing a significant role in UK video consumption as more and more consumers move away from laptops and desktops toward tablets and smartphones. Notably, for the first time this year, half of smartphone users in the UK will watch digital video on such devices, eMarketer estimates.

Predictably, younger age groups lead for digital video viewership in the UK. While teens and young millennials watch more digital video overall, with a preference for shorter-form content, they also overindex against the adult population for long-form paid content. However, older demographic groups are increasingly becoming digital video viewers, too, and will likely drive the next surge in viewing activity.

eMarketer’s forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness. Each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of available data means the forecasts reflect the latest business developments, technology trends and economic changes.

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