Reports: Average Brit Streamed Three TV Series During Virus Lockdown; Prefers AVOD over SVOD

During the coronavirus pandemic shutdown in the United Kingdom — the world’s No. 2 home entertainment market — the average consumer binge-viewed three episodic series. U.K. consumers also opted for ad-supported VOD over subscription streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and BritBox, according to new data from U.K. online entertainment retailer MusicMagpie.

Citing an internal survey, the retailer found that among 16- to 24-year olds, respondents watched four episodes at a time on average, and considered five episodes binging. That quantity dropped off considerably among the 55-and-older demo, which viewed just one episode and consider three back-to-back episodes as binging.

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Younger respondents (25 to 34 year olds) on average stream less than two hours watching daily, while 55-and-older stream about 30 minutes. The average respondent has watched three series since lockdown began; more than half of the U.K. (51%) have increased the amount of TV/films they stream; 52% revisited a favorite series.

The most popular series was “Sherlock” with 55% of respondents having seen it.

Rank Series % respondents streamed it
1 Sherlock 55%
2 Peaky Blinders 53%
3 Game of Thrones 51%
4 Line of Duty 51%
5 Killing Eve 48%
6 Breaking Bad 48%
7 The Walking Dead 47%
8 Stranger Things 44%
9 Chernobyl 42%
10 Homeland 40%
11 The Crown 39%
12 Suits 37%
13 Black Mirror 36%
14 Westworld 35%
15 Fleabag 35%
16 The Wire 33%
17 Ozark 28%
18 Top Boy 26%
19 Power 26%
20 Mind Hunter 25%

A separate report from SpotX, citing Statista research, found 64% of British viewers are more likely to choose an ad-supported streaming service over a paid subscription. This data underscores why ViacomCBS and Fox Corp. collectively spent nearly $800 million acquiring AVOD platforms Pluto TV and Tubi, respectively, for global expansion.

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Indeed, 69% of connected TV viewers say they watch ad-supported content and more than half (58%) say that they prefer to watch free ad-supported programming versus paying for an ad-free content.

“With 50% reach in CTV viewership representing 61.5 million households across Europe’s biggest markets, advertisers are increasingly recognizing [AVOD] power to efficiently and accurately reach target audiences at scale,” Léon Siotis, president of EMEA at SpotX, said in a statement.

DVD/Blu-ray Disc Player Ownership Continues to Decline

DVD/Blu-ray Disc player use remains in decline, with household penetration dropping to 67% in the first quarter of 2018 from 73% at the end of 2017, according to new data from Nielsen.

The drop underscores ongoing changes in consumer home entertainment behavior as fewer people watch, purchase and rent packaged media. Indeed, DVD players could be found in nearly 90% of U.S. households in 2008, despite the fact overall unit sales of DVD players actually declined 25% in the first half of that year, according to The NPD Group.

Among the coveted 18-34-year-old demo in 2018, DVD/Blu-ray player ownership has shrunk to 57.8%, compared to 69% among 30-49-year-olds and 58.6% among 50-64-year-olds, according to

Nielsen contends the average time an adult spent per day using a DVD/Blu-ray player was six minutes in Q1. That compared to 14 minutes with a video game console and 26 minutes with an Internet-connected device.

By comparison, live-TV viewing topped four hours daily, followed by the smart phone (2 hours, 22 minutes) and radio (1:46 hours).

Nine out of 10 U.S. adults use linear platforms in the average week. Live + time-shifted TV viewing reached 88% of persons in the first quarter of 2018, while radio had the largest reach across platforms at 92%.

A silver lining in the trends is that most Blu-ray players are connected to the Internet, thereby enabling access to over-the-top video and subscription streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

Indeed, Nielsen found that many households have access to more than one of the aforementioned SVOD services. Across the total U.S., 27% of TV households have access to only one service and 37% to more than one service. Eleven percent have access to all three.

Meanwhile, Nielsen reported that DVR penetration, which only a few years ago was rapidly expanding in U.S. homes, has seen its growth slow but is still present in 55% of TV households. Newer media, such as Internet connected devices and smart TVs, that enable streaming of content to the TV set, are showing strong year-over-year increases. Both device types are now in 37% and 38% of TV households, respectively.