Imagen reports 1 in 3 consumers prioritise content on demand


Over a quarter (29%) of UK consumers cite being able to watch content on demand, including the ability to download it to watch at a later date, as their main priority when subscribing to a streaming platform, according to Imagen.

Research conducted on behalf of the leading SaaS video management platform business also found that further enticements for consumers when subscribing to streaming platforms now include the ability to access new original content (27%) and that they are cheaper than a TV package (22%).

Charlie Horrell, CEO, Imagen, commented, “Our research indicates that there is an opportunity for traditional broadcast players to enhance their services and compete with the increasing number of streaming providers by enabling consumers to watch more content on demand. This is something we’re already seeing organisations like Sky and the BBC now offering via their online platforms where viewers can access boxsets and can download shows to watch on the go. It’s also clear that consumers really value being able to access new original content, which came as a close second in terms of priorities.

“In a world of growing convenience, consumers want on-demand access to their favourite shows and programmes wherever and whenever. Traditional broadcasters must therefore consider how they can respond to changing viewer requirements and maximise the value of their content,” adds Horrell. “In doing so, they will remove a key differentiator between their services and that of streaming platforms.”

Looking to the future, more than a quarter (27%) of consumers think that traditional TV broadcasters will adopt services similar to those offered by streaming providers, while 25% think the two will simply combine services, which is evidenced by the likes of the Sky and Netflix partnership. Conversely, almost a quarter (24%) of consumers believe that traditional TV will eventually cease to exist, compared to only 5% who believe streaming services could suffer the same fate.

Despite this, almost a third (30%) of consumers surveyed still watch the majority of content on traditional TV channels, suggesting that viewers currently see more value in the offerings of broadcasters over streaming platforms which are favoured only by a fifth (20%) of respondents. Meanwhile 22% of consumers say they mostly tune into YouTube. While there is still so much hype around streaming services, they are still competing against traditional, often long-standing, broadcasters. Consequently, streaming platforms should follow Netflix’s lead and continue to invest in the aspects that set them apart – namely creating compelling original content and allowing audiences to access this at the touch of a button.

An additional 17% of consumers watch most video via social media with almost two-thirds (64%) of consumers admitting to watching short-form video clips – a figure that rises to 77% among 25-34-year olds. However, despite this willingness for new content forms among younger generations, over 55s are hesitant to change their viewing habits with more than a third (37%) saying they wouldn’t subscribe to a streaming platform.

“There is a growing generational divide in how media is consumed. While it’s evident that traditional TV still has a significant place in society, consumers are now demanding greater flexibility in how they view content and the form it takes, as shown by the rise in popularity of short-form video,” commented Horrell. “Traditional broadcasters must take heed and find ways to reflect this shifting landscape in their own offerings by allowing audiences to view more content on-demand, for instance, and finding ways to turn some of these programmes into smaller, easier to digest social media-friendly clips. This approach will ensure they are maximising the value of their offering and broaden their appeal.”

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