One billion TV On Demand views in 2011 predicts Virgin Media

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Virgin Media has unveiled its first entertainment trends report, providing an unprecedented level of detail and insight into how viewers are enjoying the UK’s leading On Demand service.

The Virgin Media Entertainment Index reveals 2010 was a record breaking year for On Demand viewing, with just under 900 million programmes watched in total – a 10% increase on the previous record, set in 2009.

Virgin Media’s On Demand service is the third most watched ‘channel’ on the platform with customers, on average, each watching for almost two and a quarter hours every week. This is longer than the typical UK family sees anything on TV other than BBC1 or ITV1.

These viewers sat down to watch On Demand for a combined total of 430 million hours. If a single person were to watch this much television back-to-back, it would take more than 49,000 years.

As the only provider of catch-up services from all four public service broadcasters, Virgin Media’s TV service was also responsible for more than one in every five BBC iPlayer video requests throughout 2010.

Over one million more households have discovered the power of On Demand, where they control their own television schedule, in the four years since the launch of Virgin Media. The unique infrastructure of the company’s cable network ensures almost five thousand hours of programming is instantly available to its customers. 64% of them now regularly choose from shows such as Fringe, chart music videos from artists including Katy Perry and Tinie Tempah, blockbuster films like Inception, and more, in HD and 3D too.

With demand and awareness both increasing, Virgin Media predicts total On Demand views will exceed one billion in 2011.

Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media said: “In our increasingly time precious lives, more and more people are switching over to On Demand. It’s a chance to catch-up on something you missed earlier in the week or just watch what you really want at a time that suits you. This year looks set to be transformational in terms of how we watch our favourite shows and I expect we’ll break through the milestone of one billion views in the coming months.

“We’ve pioneered On Demand in the UK, putting nearly five thousand hours of programming at the fingertips of our customers for them to watch when they want. Our next generation TV service, powered by TiVo, takes this to the next level by seamlessly combining traditional linear TV and On Demand with the best of the web, making it easier to find great programmes. As connected TVs bring even more great content to the social screen, the ability to navigate this vast world of entertainment will become critical. Search, browsable collections and recommendations are set to become the dominant discovery tools for the next generation of TV viewers.”

The full Virgin Media Entertainment Index explores patterns of viewing behaviour across all three screens – TV, computer and mobile – and looks at potential trends for the year ahead. The report can be found here.

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