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SVOD and catch-up accelerate US, UK linear viewing decline

The ubiquity of on-demand and catch-up services continues to impact linear TV viewing, according to new research.

The migration from linear to timeshifted and on-demand services is happening in many developed markets, new intelligence from IHS shows, with consumers in the US and UK leading the way. In both territories linear viewing declined last year despite huge live televised events including the Olympics.

IHS says that viewers in the US and UK now spend, on average, over 40 minutes a day watching on-demand or timeshifted programming. Linear broadcast viewing in the UK has declined for the third consecutive year and a similar trend is emerging in the US, with linear TV viewing falling by eleven minutes in 2012.

The availability of SVOD services such as Netflix and Amazon/Lovefilm is drawing viewers from linear TV at a fast rate in the US and UK.

“The US is a good example of a market in which OTT SVOD services have had a noticeable impact – on-demand viewing has risen by ten minutes per person per day between 2010 and 2012, mirrored by a decline in daily linear broadcast TV viewing of 13 minutes per person,” notes Fateha Begum, a television analyst at IHS.

Across the big five European markets – UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy – subscription VOD are responsible for nearly one in every seven minutes of long form online viewing of TV.

The linear viewing picture is, however, mixed across Europe. In Italy and Spain increased unemployment is driving increases in linear TV viewing with viewers spending an average of four hours a day watching TV.