Samsung: More TV Owners Stream Video Than Watch Linear Programming

Samsung, the largest manufacturer of Internet-connected televisions, or smart TVs, in the United States (ahead of LG Electronics), says consumers in the United Kingdom accessing over-the-top video on its TVs now exceeds consumers accessing linear programming.

The data from Samsung Ads Europe from January through June mirrors TV consumption habits of 50 million Samsung smart TVs in the United States the South Korean manufacturer disclosed in June. Specifically, Samsung found a 59% increase (or 38 minutes daily) in OTT video consumption across the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. About 72% of survey respondents said they stream and watch pay-TV.

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“Streaming is no longer just an emerging behavior, but rather a central viewership method,” Alex Hole, VP of Samsung Ads Europe, said in a statement. “As such, advertisers need to adjust strategies to reach all TV viewers as they consume a wider selection of content from both linear and OTT sources.”

Hole said consumption of linear TV continues, but advertisers should consider avoiding “over-exposure” to this viewer at the expense of OTT video consumption.

Samsung has a vested interest in streaming video. It launched a few years ago an ad-supported VOD platform dubbed “Samsung TV Plus,” featuring 135 channels across various news, sports and entertainment genres.

Indeed, Samsung said it saw the largest spike in ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) consumption among consumers in the U.K., up more than 30%, or about 1 hour and 39 minutes per day. SVOD use increased 26%, while on-demand broadcast content increased 9% and TVOD remained flat.

“A media plan that understands the importance of targeted advertising across the connected TV environment is pivotal for advertisers looking to reach consumers across all their viewership habits,” Hole said. “This is heightened as households move seamlessly from linear to VOD services.”

Universal’s ‘Trolls World Tour’ Tops British Home Entertainment Sales Chart for Seventh Time

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Trolls World Tour finished atop the weekly Official Chart through Sept. 16 in the United Kingdom for the seventh time. The animated sequel has sold more than 215,000 units across DVD, Blu-ray Disc and digital download.

This week’s highest new entry, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (Disney) finished No. 2 – with the 1999 movie entering the chart for the first time following its release on a limited edition 4K SteelBook version. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney) at No. 3 sits just a handful of unit sales behind its counterpart after climbing three places up from last week.

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Last week’s No. 1 Black Panther (Disney) drops to No. 4, landing just ahead of eOne’s 1917 at No. 5. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, starring Tom Holland swings up nine places to No. 6; Bad Boys for Life (Sony) rises three to No. 7.

Paramount Pictures Sonic The Hedgehog drops to No. 8, while Sony’s Jumanji: The Next Level holds on at No. 9. Finally, Greta Gerwig’s 2019 adaptation of Little Women returns to the Top 10 for the first time since June. Starring Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen, this adaptation was nominated for six academy awards this year, winning one for Best Costume Design.

The Official Film Chart Top 10 – 16th September 2020

LW Pos Title Label
3 1 TROLLS WORLD TOUR DREAMWORKS ANIMATION
NEW 2 STAR WARS I – THE PHANTOM MENACE WALT DISNEY
6 3 STAR WARS IX – THE RISE OF SKYWALKER WALT DISNEY
1 4 BLACK PANTHER MARVEL FILMS
4 5 1917 ENTERTAINMENT ONE
15 6 SPIDER-MAN – FAR FROM HOME SONY PICTURES HE
10 7 BAD BOYS FOR LIFE SONY PICTURES HE
2 8 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG PARAMOUNT
9 9 JUMANJI – THE NEXT LEVEL SONY PICTURES HE
14 10 LITTLE WOMEN (2019) SONY PICTURES HE

British Up Digital Movie Transactions 87% During Pandemic Lockdown

New data from the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) and compiled by The Official Charts Company shows that consumer spending on digital movie purchases grew by more than 87% during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown period through June 30 to £113 million ($148 million). The United Kingdom is the second-largest home video market in the world.

Examining the wider transactional VOD market, data from Kantar suggests 1.8 million new customers either bought or rented digital content during lockdown, taking the number of consumers transacting digitally in that period to a record high of 5.5 million.

Transactional Successes

In the 12 week period from March 28 when the British government introduced its “stay home” policy, digital purchases accounted for 51% of the market as consumers engaged with the depth of range of titles available through digital home viewing options, with 49% attributed to sales of physical media (DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-ray). While growth in digital ownership was already evident, with its share at 29% in the same period in 2019 and at 37% in the 12 weeks prior to lockdown, the data suggests transactional VOD made huge gains at a time when many of consumers were forced to stay home.

Falling disc sales prior to the pandemic translated to an overall decline in the transactional video market, but the performance of digital transactional in lockdown has reversed that trend, with whole video market growth of 6.9% in value terms delivering a significant 21 point swing. During the lockdown period, disc proved to be remarkably resilient even in the context of many bricks and mortar retailers either being forced to close or to pivot to focus on essential provisions. Even with those challenges, with premium formats like Blu-ray and 4K UHD continuing to appeal and an increased engagement from consumers with TV box sets on disc, the disc market maintained a predominantly flat value position year-on-year.

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“With nearly 2 million new customers buying or renting entertainment content from a digital store during the lockdown period and contributing to the wider transactional video market returning to growth, the digital transactional market has been a beneficiary of the fact that the government’s Stay Home policy provided the right environment for it to flourish,” BASE CEO Liz Bales said in a statement.

Performance across the market can to some extent be attributed to a strong release slate, with a pipeline of theatrical titles becoming available early for purchase on digital platforms. During the lockdown period titles such as Jumanji: The Next Level, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, 1917, Bloodshot and Frozen II were joined on digital platforms by family-friendly releases such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Onward, as well as Knives Out and Jojo Rabbit, with average volume sales for digital purchase rising from more than 350,000 units per week in the 12 weeks from the start of 2020 to more than 565,000 units a week in the 12 weeks from March 28.

While the average selling price for a digital copy has risen year-on-year by 4.4% to £8.51 ($11.51), the fact that the ASP has fallen marginally against its pre-lockdown position suggests that consumers are also engaging with the value proposition offered by the breadth and depth of catalog content available through digital retailers alongside the pick of titles fresh from the cinema.

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The diverse range of older titles that digital customers have sought out during the pandemic includes classics such as Forrest Gump, Top Gun, Grease, Apocalypse Now and titles from the “Harry Potter” franchise, with titles released pre-2010 representing 38% of all digital sales during lockdown.

“Across both digital purchase and rental, numbers have boomed during the lockdown period, with new and existing customers contributing to some 7.9 million transactions, up more than 22% on the same period last year and more than the same period in 2018, which supports the story of the transactional video category returning to growth,” said Craig Armer, strategic insight director at Kantar.

Armer said the number of transactional VOD customers doubled, accounting for more than 28% of the transactional VOD market in lockdown versus around 13% for the same time last year.

Families Engage with Premium VOD

One area of innovation driven by lockdown was the debut of  premium VOD offerings, with titles earmarked for theatrical release appearing on VOD services early. Titles released in this model included Trolls World Tour, The Invisible Man, Emma, The Hunt and Military Wives, with PVOD offerings accounting for 6.2% of all digital rentals over the lockdown period according to data from Kantar. Due to the higher price point of these premium offerings, that figure translates to a 19% share of rental spend in the period, with Kantar estimating that more than half a million customers experimented with the new-release format.

In keeping with the PVOD success of Trolls World Tour, families have the largest share of spend and are accessing content through their TVs rather than through other devices, endorsing the popularity of the movie night in that continues to be a key occasion for transaction and, in lockdown, a welcome break from the situation the nation was dealing with.

“The fact that more than half of consumers anticipate they will maintain habits formed during lockdown, such as engaging more broadly with digital delivery, underlines the need for the video category to optimize around the opportunity delivered by the growth it has seen,” Bales said.  “Historically, home entertainment has proved robust in times of economic crisis and the addition of a meaningful number of new customers to digital transactional, alongside the resilience of the disc market, means the video category at large has plenty to build upon even as consumer confidence and discretionary spend potentially become challenged as we look to the future.”

Universal’s ‘Trolls World Tour’ Remains U.K.’s Top-Selling Title

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Trolls World Tour finished atop the weekly Official Film Chart (through Aug. 12) for the fourth consecutive week, making the sequel the longest-running No. 1 of 2020 in the United Kingdom. Trolls World Tour has lasted longer at the top of the chart than Disney’s Frozen II and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, each at three weeks at the chart peak.

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At No. 2, Disney’s Onward flies 16 places to return to its previous high position, just ahead of the week’s biggest new entry at No. 3, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. The Lucasfilm title takes the place of its precursor, A New Hope, following a limited edition Steelbook release of the film.

Twentieth Century Home Entertainment’s Spies in Disguise moved up 23 places to its previous peak of No. 4; the animated film starring the voices of Tom Holland and Will Smith sees an internationally-renowned spy Lance Stirling (Smith) accidentally turned into a pigeon by a genius but socially awkward tech officer (Holland) — as the two work together to change Stirling back and save the world.

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Jumanji: The Next Level jumped two spots to No. 5, as Frozen II drops to sixth and Paramount Home Entertainment’s Sonic the Hedgehog ended in seventh. Terminator: Dark Fate (20th Century Home Entertainment) is the highest climber of the week, skyrocketing 31 places to No. 8; 1917 (eOne) dropped four to ninth and Warner Home Video’s Joker ended the week at No. 10.

Elsewhere in the Top 20, Warner’s Deep Blue Sea 3 (No. 11) is up one, while Universal’s Four Kids and It — a children’s fantasy film based on a Jacqueline Wilson novel — enters the Official Film Chart for the first time at Number 15.

Universal’s ‘Trolls World Tour’ Tops U.K. Official Film Chart for Third Straight Week

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Trolls World Tour finished atop the weekly Official Film Chart in United Kingdom for the third consecutive week following its release DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-ray.

With 76% of its sales on disc for the week ended Aug. 5, Trolls World Tour comfortably held its position against perennial competitors Frozen II (Disney) at No. 2, Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog (No. 4) and eOne’s 1917 (No. 5).

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Best-placed new entry among the Top 10: Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope. The 1977 sci-fi classic starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford hadn’t previously featured in the Official Film Chart, but finished No. 3 thanks to the release of a limited-edition 4K Blu-ray Steelbook.

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Warner’s Joker claimed the sixth spot for the third week, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s adventure-comedy Jumanji: The Next Level finished seventh for a second week. Dolittle (Universal) dropped three spots to No. 8, as Lionsgate U.K.’s Knives Out finished ninth. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s starring roles in Sony Pictures’ Bad Boys For Life clinched another week in the chart, in 10th.

Finally, further notable Top 20 entries come from sci-fi horror, Deep Blue Sea 3, brand new at No. 12; Bruce Willis and Chad Michael Murray’s latest action thriller, Survive The Night, rising six places to 13th; and a double feature of Trolls and Trolls World Tour at No. 15.

Universal’s ‘Trolls World Tour’ Debuts Atop U.K. Official Film Chart

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s animated Trolls World Tour is the gift that keeps giving during the coronavirus pandemic. The $100 million PVOD hit in the United States, entered the United Kingdom retail market at No. 1, outselling the other top-five titles combined on digital downloads.

The sequel to Trolls (2016) stars the voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and Rachel Bloom alongside a list of music and television stars, including Ozzy Osbourne, James Corden, Mary J. Blige and Kelly Clarkson. In this follow-up to the hugely popular musical film, Queen Barb of the Hard Rock Trolls (Bloom) tries to take over the six Troll Kingdoms — Funk, Country, Techno, Classical, Pop and Rock — and it’s up to Queen Poppy (Kendrick) and her friends to unify all Trolls and save their kingdoms.

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Disney’s Frozen II climbed to the second spot, followed by Paramount Home Entertainment’s Sonic the Hedgehog in third. The previous week’s chart topper, Military Wives (Lionsgate U.K.) fell to fourth, while Warner’s Birds of Prey and Joker follow in fifth and sixth. Robert Downey Jr.’s Dolittle (Universal) dropped to seventh, and eOne’s 1917 finished in eighth.

Disney/Marvel’s record-breaking Avengers: Endgame moved back into the top 10 in the ninth spot following the release of a collector’s edition Steelbook packaged-media release. Finally, Le Mans ’66 (Disney/Fox) climbed to 10th.

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Futuresource: Disney, Netflix, Amazon Added More Than 6 Million SVOD Subs in U.K. Through June

With European adoption of subscription streaming video driving subscriber growth among American platforms such as Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, new data from Futuresource Consulting suggests the aforementioned services have added more than six million combined subs in the United Kingdom through June 30 — including four million alone for Disney+.

“Disney’s timing was impeccable with Disney+ launching on the first day [March 24] of full lockdown,” analyst David Sidebottom said in a statement. “Our forecasts indicate that the service will account for a significant proportion of the growth in the U.K. SVOD sector in 2020.”

Despite the sub growth, 2020 continues to be a volatile year for the British video and TV entertainment industry, with a lockdown boom that has played to the strengths of content hungry consumers, offset by challenges around consumer retention in the second half of the year, particularly for those reliant on monthly subscriptions, as the U.K. begins to open for business again.

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London-based Futuresource projects 2021 will see a 10% increase in video/TV entertainment consumer spending, topping £10 billion total spend on video for the first time driven by increased consumer choice and continued investment in the industry.

“A strong slate will help the box office recover and in turn provide a major boost to the home video sector,” Sidebottom said.

Beyond content delivery, the U.K. continues to make its mark as a global content production powerhouse. Major investments in studio facilities planned in and rolling out from 2020 to 2023 will further enhance the region’s reputation and feed digital services with a growing range of quality content.

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Futuresource forecasts the overall video and TV entertainment sector will reach £11.3 billion in consumer spend in 2024. This will help drive total sector revenue and U.K. exports, which can be reinvested into the industry.

“The polarization of fortunes in 2020 means overall video and entertainment revenues are set to fall this year, but there is massive potential waiting around the corner,” Sidebottom said.

‘Dolittle’ Returns Atop Weekly U.K. Home Entertainment Chart

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s Dolittle edged back to the top spot on the U.K.’s weekly Official Film Chart (packaged media/digital) through July 1. The movie entered the chart at No. 1 in June. The Robert Downey Jr. starrer bested Emma. (Universal) by 193 unit sales, bumping Warner Home Video’s Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn to the third spot.

Emma. features Anya Taylor-Joy as the eponymous character in this 2020 adaptation of Jane Austen’s comedy of manners.

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Dark Waters (UPHE) is the only new entry on the chart at No. 4 via digital downloads only. Starring Mark Ruffalo, Dark Waters details the real-life case against the chemical manufacturing corporation DuPont after they contaminated a town with unregulated chemicals.

Previous chart topper 1917 (eOne) drops to fifth, and Paramount Pictures’ Sonic the Hedgehog slips a spot to sixth.

The Invisible Man (UPHE) leapfrogged 11 spots to seventh, marking its Top 10 debut. The movie stars Elisabeth Moss, whose character’s abusive ex (who is invisible) supposedly took his own life.  But she suspects his death was a hoax.

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Jumanji: The Next Level staves off falling out of the Top 10, climbing two spots to eighth. Disney’s Onward drops to ninth, and Frozen II returns to the countdown in 10th.

U.K. Daily Internet Usage Tops 4 Hours

Internet use in the United Kingdom is surging. Adults in the U.K. now spend more than a quarter of their waking day online with myriad services such as TikTok and Zoom, according to new data from Ofcom, the region’s regulator for the communications services.

In April, during the height of the coronavirus lockdown, U.K. adults spent a daily average of four hours and two minutes online. This was up from just under three and a half hours in September 2019. With people looking for new ways to keep connected, informed, entertained and fit during the pandemic, video-sharing and video-calling services surged in popularity.

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TikTok, which allows users to create and share short dance and lip-sync videos, reached 12.9 million U.K. adult visitors in April, up from just 5.4 million in January. Twitch, the live-streaming platform for video gamers, saw an increase from 2.3 million adults to 4.2 million.

The number of people making video calls doubled during lockdown, with more than 70% doing so at least weekly. Houseparty, the app which combines group video-calls with games and quizzes, grew from 175,000 adult visitors in January to 4 million in April. But the biggest growth was seen by Zoom, the virtual meeting platform, which grew from 659,000 users to reach 13 million users over the same period — a rise of almost 2,000%.

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Ofcom found that 90% of adults, and almost all older children aged 8-15, with access to the Internet used at least one of these platforms (YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok) in the past year, with many doing so several times a day. About 32% of online adults now spend more time viewing video-sharing services than broadcast television.

“Lockdown may leave a lasting digital legacy,” Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s director of strategy and research, said in a statement. “The coronavirus has radically changed the way we live, work and communicate online, with millions of people using online video services for the first time.”

The study shows that, before the pandemic, many people were moving away from more established forms of communication — particularly landline calls and SMS text messages — and adopting newer methods.

In the 12 months to February, more people were sending daily text messages using online messaging platforms (52%), such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, than using SMS (41%) or email (26%). Daily use of online voice calls (31%) was only slightly lower than mobile calls (38%).

The pandemic appears to have sped up the adoption of online services to keep in touch. More than 70% people in the U.K. are now making video calls at least weekly, up from 35% pre-lockdown. This trend is particularly noticeable among older Web users; the proportion of online adults aged 65+ who make a least one video-call each week increased from 22% in February to 61% by May.

‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Speeds to No.1 on U.K. Official Film Chart

Packaged media proved to be the perfect spark to push Paramount Home Entertainment’s Sonic the Hedgehog to the top of the U.K. Official Film Chart through June 17.

The video game adaptation entered the chart in April at No. 3 when it was released on digital download early due to the COVID-19 crisis. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Bloodshot returned to the chart in the fifth spot following its release on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD.

Bloodshot, which stars Vin Diesel, was first released digitally in March, two weeks after its theatrical bow. Entertainment One’s Oscar-winning war drama 1917 jumped to No. 2, while the previous week’s No. 1, Dolittle (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment) fell to No. 3, and Disney’s Onward dropped to No. 4.

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Sony Pictures’ Bad Boys For Life finished No. 6, while the studio’s Jumanji: The Next Level remained strong at No. 7. Sony Pictures’ Little Women came in at No. 8, while Disney’s Frozen II followed at No. 9, and Universal’s Cats fell four spots to No. 10.