Digital Video Now Mass Market Proposition in UK

written by: Richard Kastelein

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shutterstock 70945333eMarketer reports that almost three-quarters of UK internet users—nearly 57% of the entire population—will watch video content via the internet at least monthly in 2014.

And that number will continue to rise through 2017, though only at low single-digit rates. Whatever the growth rate, digital video in the UK now constitutes a mass-market proposition.

YouTube is far and away the most popular destination for digital video viewers. According to a Nielsen//NetRatings ranking from July 2013, it was the No. 1 video site among UK internet users, pulling in 19.1 million unique visitors. Some way back in second place, with 4.9 million visitors, was the BBC’s iPlayer site, itself well ahead of “the rest.” But the iPlayer service continues to see increasing user engagement, particularly via tablet devices.

According to its own data, the BBC saw the number of iPlayer requests in November 2013 up 27% year over year. And while the service’s popularity continues to rise, the device of choice is increasingly leaning toward tablets. One-quarter of all requests in November 2013 came from such a device, with requests from computers just 8 percentage points ahead.


Tablet usage is catching up fast. Indeed, the speed with which UK consumers are taking to TV viewing via tablets was highlighted in a January 2014 blog post from Dan Taylor, head of BBC iPlayer. Taylor revealed that Boxing Day 2013 “saw tablet viewing overtake computer viewing for the first time in iPlayer history.”

However, among all this excitement of growing interest in tablets for on-demand TV viewing, the fact remains that the TV set is still, by quite some distance, the device of choice for watching TV content.

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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