Decipher’s VOD Audit Q3 2013: YouView now provide more catch-up TV than Sky

Total Catch-Up TV by Platform
Total Catch-Up TV by Platform

Decipher’s latest VOD Audit reveals YouView is now the largest catch-up TV provider in the UK, growing by 24% to offer 2,677 assets. This gives it the lead over Sky by 85 assets with the satellite provider’s catch-up service totaling 2,592 assets, reflecting 11% growth since June. Importantly however, Sky’s claims to having the largest catch-up service still have some grounds: Their service offers far more breadth, giving subscribers access to content from up to 32 channels compared to YouView’s 15.

Looking at total video on demand on services audited in this quarter (which excludes iTunes and Google Play until next quarter), the most on demand is available through Sony’s Playstation Store, accessed via the Playstation 3 games console; the Store offers access to over 24,100 episodes and movies. The Audit places Blinkbox in second (20,800 assets) with Microsoft’s Xbox Video in third place (20,400 assets).

Catch-up Channels Offered ('Others' include Discovery, Fox, MTV, Dave etc.)
Catch-up Channels Offered (‘Others’ include Discovery, Fox, MTV, Dave etc.)

Ignoring the pure transactional providers (e.g. Blinkbox), which offer content in the much broader rental and ownership rights window, and focusing on the digital TV and online subscription services (e.g. Sky and Netflix), the largest VOD selection is available on BT’s YouView service; this includes content from both its own BT Player and other broadcaster players e.g. BBC iPlayer, 4oD. It is followed closely by Lovefilm Instant and Virgin Media who are level pegging in second place (15,086 and 15,074 assets each), Sky follow next with 11,500 assets.

We also considered who is most aggressively growing their service; Lovefilm championed here with asset growth of 34%, beating Blinkbox’s 27% expansion into second place.

Looking specifically at HD on demand, we have seen growth across every provider collected. The core transactional services on the two leading games consoles lead the market with Xbox Video offering 8,369 HD movies or TV episodes just losing out to rivals Playstation Store which has 8,966. Compared to digital TV, they offer 3-times more than Sky & 5.5-times that of Virgin. Whilst not large in absolute terms, Lovefilm saw particularly aggressive growth, with 69% more HD available when compared to June 2013. 

Total Movie VOD by Platform
Total Movie VOD by Platform

Movie content is another keen area for competition where the largest providers are again transactional; Playstation Store lead the market with over 6,300 titles. When investigating recency, which we now collect down to a monthly level, the Playstation Store can also claim the most number of new movie titles, with nearly 1,000 less than 18 months old. In the subscription movie space, the widest range of titles can be accessed through Sky (3,593) who lead the other subscription and digital services by nearly 1,000 assets.

When it comes to film pricing, consistent with the Q2 VOD Audit, Virgin Media has the most expensive movie rental service with average movie costing £3.47; interestingly, Sky offer the budget choice at an average of £2.32 (33% less per rental). Consumers who are looking to own digital content (‘electronic sell through’ or EST), would do best to buy through Xbox Video where the average title costs £9.03, and steer clear of Blinkbox where the average title costs £9.79.

These snippets are just a selection of the findings from the Q3 2013 VOD Audit. If you would like more information you can contact Lloyd Mason at or Damien Read at

The report is our quarterly review of video on demand (VOD) on the major UK digital TV platforms and online services. Data was collected over a 5 week period in September and October 2013 and is delivered as a detailed briefing which maps out the most important headlines, trends and changes through a series of graphs, charts and tables.

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