A new study in the UK has found that online TV services are unlikely to benefit greatly from increasing broadband speeds.
The report by Deloitte and YouGov found that more than half of those that took part in the study would not be moved to watch more online TV if they had faster and more reliable internet services.
The study also revealed that only seven percent of those polled had connected their main TV to the internet. Perhaps more worrying is that of the 93 percent who had not done this, only one third of them said that they would use internet based services if it were. This is despite a high awareness of the various legal (and illegal) online video sources available.
Broadcaster-owned platforms achieved 83 percent awareness with short format streaming services such as YouTube not far behind on 76 percent. Usage of these two service types was not far behind the awareness levels at 81 and 67 percent respectively.
"Stimulating investment in a next generation broadband infrastructure for Britain has been at the heart of the Digital Britain debate,” said James Bates, Media & Telecoms Partner at Deloitte. “However, as this survey shows, making high-speed broadband access widely available to consumers is no guarantee that it will be taken up. Demand and willingness to pay for services varies significantly, and there is little evidence that the mass market is prepared to pay substantially more for it.
"One of the strongest advocates for online television may well be traditional television companies. In an ironic twist to earlier expectations, broadcasters and independent producers may, in the medium-term, be those that benefit most from online television,” added bates.
“Broadcasters may increasingly use online television to support their core, traditional objective of maximising broadcast audience size and quality. Online clips, distributed via their own websites as well as third party platforms, are likely to be used to spark interest in their shows. Online catch-up can enable viewers that missed a broadcast episode to keep up with a storyline and remain interested in a series.”
TV viewing away from the traditional TV set is also polarised by age. Less than half as many 45-54 year-olds that were polled watched television content on their PCs compared to the 18-24 year-old group. Forty-seven percent of those 45-54 year-olds only watch programming on a traditional set with only 16 percent of 18-24 year-olds snubbing advanced platforms.