Study: Online TV Is Second-Most-Popular TV Viewing Choice in U.K., Sweden and Germany

A new survey of TV viewers in the United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany found that online TV is now the second most popular viewing source behind pay-TV, with usage ranging from just under 40% in Germany to more than 50% in the U.K. and Sweden.

Nielsen company Gracenote and digital media analyst firm nScreenMedia conducted the survey, “TV Universe — U.K., Sweden, Germany: How People Watch Television Today,” in the first quarter of 2019, focusing on pay TV, free-to-air and online TV viewership in the three European countries that account for 31% of the European Union’s total population, according to Statista.

The online TV viewership growth in the three countries “is a remarkable rise as online TV is a relatively new offering,” according to the research firms. In fact, Netflix launched in the United Kingdom in just 2012. Whereas 12 years ago most homes relied on a single-source for TV, today nearly half of viewers in all three of the countries studied are multi-source television households, the researchers noted.

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“Consumer behavior relating to TV viewing is changing rapidly in Europe as it is around the world,” said Simon Adams, chief product officer, Gracenote, in a statement.

Pay TV is currently the most popular television source in the U.K. and Sweden with nearly two in three consumers in each market using it, the survey found, but in Germany the most popular source is free-to-air TV, which accounts for the vast majority of viewers at nearly eight in 10.

In all three European markets surveyed, consumers pointed to on-screen program guides and user interfaces as being critical tools for finding content to watch. Six in 10 viewers indicated visual imagery and TV artwork displayed in guides exert important influence on their viewing choices. Among the 18-to-24-year-old demographic, the number jumped up to around 90%. In addition, respondents indicated TV show and movie descriptions that shed light on content are also factors in their tune-in decision-making, with 70% of U.K. viewers, 65% of Swedes and 57% of Germans saying the program descriptions were at least somewhat important.

The study also found free-to-air TV is gaining traction on mobile with more free-to-air viewers using broadcaster apps to supplement viewing than pay TV viewers use their operator “TV Everywhere” apps. In fact, more than half of free-to-air users in each country use broadcaster apps.

The smart TV is the preferred device to watch video content on in all three countries, according to the study. A significant 70% of total viewing time is on the TV screen in the United Kingdom and Germany, while in Sweden, it is 60%. Samsung is the most popular TV brand in all three countries.

Other insights include:

  • 17% of the U.K. study group use all three TV sources available to them, higher than in Sweden and Germany;
  • While the on-screen guide is the dominant way Swedes and Brits find content to watch, newspaper TV guides and channel flipping are the main ways for Germans; and
  • 31% of Swedes consider online TV to be their primary TV source, the highest of the three countries studied.

 

“The new TV Universe study shows that online TV has become the second most popular source of TV entertainment in a remarkably short period of time,” said Colin Dixon, founder and chief analyst at nScreenMedia in a statement. “Also telling is the fact that, though most online viewing takes place on the television, consumers don’t have the discovery tools they need to efficiently find something to watch there. Features such as voice and cross-service search are thinly used in each country. There is also plenty of room for improvement with content recommendations as a quarter or less think they accurately reflect their interests.”

The consumer research study conducted from February to March 2019 surveyed 1,500 adult TV viewers in the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden. The data was weighted to represent the general population of each country. The full report is available for free download now at nScreenMedia.com.

Nielsen’s Gracenote Bows New Mobile Video Analytics Measurement Solution

Gracenote, a Nielsen company, Aug. 16 announced its Mobile Video Analytics Solution aimed at providing visibility into the quality and performance of mobile video streaming applications.

The analytics solution will provide mobile operators, MVPDs, video streaming services and hardware manufacturers a means to better understand how mobile app performance impacts user behavior and attitudes as well as engagement with their platforms and those of their competitors, according to a company press release.

The solution provides insights into how users interact and engage with mobile video streaming services, according to the release. It reports key performance metrics by wireless/internet service provider and content type, among other measures, to assist in product development and marketing as well as user performance and pricing.

The Mobile Video Analytics Solution focuses on three primary performance categories: consumer experience, offering insight into video resolution, start-up times and buffering; consumer engagement, finding out how, when and where viewers tune-in, average viewing time, as well as payload, stickiness, network access and speed; and consumer attitudes, looking into reasons mobile users choose to subscribe to or disengage from specific streaming services, including their intention to switch and feedback on pricing.

With the new analytics, streaming video services can learn how performance impacts engagement on their platforms compared to those of their competitors, according to the release.  Gracenote can use passive video tests and survey responses to map user behavior and identify the cause of disengagement and churn, according to the company. Gracenote also can help wireless providers detect areas of network congestion and determine whether they need to add capacity to improve the user experience.

“Nielsen has been at the forefront of measuring television and digital video content for decades and the new Gracenote Mobile Video Analytics solution extends our market-leadership position in the mobile streaming space,” said Mike Greenawald, SVP, connectivity, for Gracenote in a statement.  “In a hotly-contested marketplace for subscribers, it is critical to understand the factors that drive engagement and retention. Gracenote Mobile Video Analytics identifies the key video performance factors that enable our customers to gain a competitive edge and make more informed business decisions.”

Mobile Video Analytics solution uses a combination of proprietary video quality and performance testing with real-time usage data from thousands of mobile consumers in over 125 national markets, according to the release.