New research by our client, Red Bee Media, has dug into the expectations and demands from UK consumers from their TVs over the coming years to 2020. The findings are an interesting take on how and where TV might be headed and are useful to consider as we think about the future role of PR in video and TV content.
British TV and film viewers are hungry for change to the traditional TV status quo, frustrated by a lack of accessibility to content, according to a UK-wide survey exploring changing consumer attitudes and behaviours to TV and video. The survey was conducted by Red Bee Media, one of the world’s leading media management companies, and is a part of the company’s Tomorrow Calling programme, which aims to build a picture of the media world in 2020, its technological possibilities and market dynamics, through a series of think tanks, quantitative and qualitative research, one-to-one interviews, live panel debates and white papers.
· While the majority of UK consumers expect to watch the same or more live TV in the future, an overwhelming three quarters (74%) claim that they can’t find anything to watch on live TV on a weekly basis, as a result of confusion caused by the continued proliferation of content, platforms and devices.
· 71% want the freedom to choose what they want to watch, when they want to watch it.
o 45% want access to all back episodes of their favourite programmes.
o 39% want catch up to be available for longer, such as six months.
o 34% are interested in having multi-room wireless access to content on any screen (rising to 42% among 16-24 year-olds).
o 33% want the whole live TV schedule available on catch up.
o More than a fifth (21%) are frustrated when they can’t access a UK programme while abroad.
· More than half of UK consumers think that content should be released at the same time all over the world (57% for films, 56% for TV).
· In fact, 46% of respondents thought that illegal downloads would be greatly reduced if it was possible to pay to watch new TV series from other countries without having to wait for a UK release date.
· UK consumers are clearly prepared to pay for content; they just want more control over what they are buying. 63% think they will spend the same on TV in the future, and 20% think they’ll spend more.
Today’s pay TV platform providers may face significant competition from OTT providers: nearly a third (31%) of consumers would be interested in new content packages via internet-connected TV, if they could choose only to receive their favourite channels, without having to pay for other channels that they don’t watch.
· A third (33%) of pay TV subscribers in the UK would consider downgrading or cancelling their subscriptions if there was a cheaper solution to receiving movies; another 33% would do the same if they could watch TV without advertising.
· Channel brands will continue to play an important role. However, a remarkable 39% of UK consumers think that there may be some technology and film brands that can do a BETTER job than existing TV channels.
“Viewers are more engaged with TV and movies than ever before and it is clear that our industry will continue to experience an unprecedented level of change. The results show that viewers are increasingly savvy about what they watch and how and when they watch it and they are ever more cynical about current offers when their preference is for a more immediate, selective and flexible experience”, said Bill Patrizio, CEO, Red Bee Media. “This research provokes us to listen closely to what tomorrow’s consumer has to say and ask ourselves whether or not their expectations are driving our industry’s innovation agenda.”
The consumer survey was revealed last night at an industry event entitled ‘TV Audiences of Tomorrow’ held in central London. An expert panel debated the findings, chaired by broadcast journalist, Krishnan Guru-Murthy. Panellists included Tim Hussain, Head of Platform Development and Partnerships, BskyB; Sue Unerman, Chief Strategy Officer, MediaCom; Julia Jordan, Executive Director, Business and Operations, UKTV; Neil Mortensen, Research and Planning Director, Thinkbox; and Andy Bryant, Director of Creative, Red Bee Media.
Red Bee Media’s Tomorrow Calling first event, hosted by media commentator Ray Snoddy, explored the impact of networks, platforms and devices and was debated by experts from Google, FremantleMedia, Virgin Media, Cisco, Red Bee Media and Balderton Capital. A final event will look at future business models and the prospects for industry revenue streams in the new year.
To receive more information about Tomorrow Calling, upcoming events and to watch the debate online, please visit http://www.redbeemedia.com/tomorrowcalling.