UK Content Consumers Awash in Options - eMarketer

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UK Content Consumers Awash in Options

To store, stream or stick with traditional content delivery methods?

August 20, 2013

Traditional methods of delivering media content, such as broadcast TV, terrestrial radio, and the sale of CDs and console games, are well-entrenched in the UK market. But consumer acceptance of receiving content in other ways has grown as well.

UK residents can now choose to stream media content from a hosted server or to purchase and then store that content, either locally or in the cloud, for consumption whenever—and often wherever—they want. In essence, consumers are beginning to demand the facility to curate their own content consumption experience to a much finer degree than ever before. Their experience is increasingly cross-platform, a facility enabled by internet-based delivery methods.

While people are often happy to stick with traditional forms of content delivery, there is a growing hunger, particularly among younger demographics, for digital forms of delivery and storage. Moreover, content delivery is no longer tethered to fixed devices in a particular location. Super-fast 3G—and now 4G—mobile internet connections are adding to the potential to deliver seamless streamed content and anywhere access to content from the cloud.

UK 4G Mobile Connections, 2012-2016 (millions)

In terms of TV content, the UK is one of the world’s most developed markets for streaming services. Paced by the BBC’s iPlayer service, most of the major TV broadcasters and pay TV service providers (ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky) now offer a catch-up service. And demand is booming. Monthly iPlayer TV requests hit 200 million or more in both January and March 2013, up from 142 million in March 2012.

BBC iPlayer TV Requests*, by Device, Jan-March 2013 (millions)

For audio content, download-and-store is popular—and a moneymaker—but streaming is gaining ground and offers more opportunities for marketers. And gaming is going mobile, with local storage the preferred method of delivery.

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