Growth in Subscription Video on Demand Driven by over 35’s – says Decipher’s latest Mediabug report


New figures from Decipher’s bi-annual media consumption report Mediabug have shown how growth in usage of subscription VOD services like Netflix and Amazon Prime has been solely due to those over the age of 35.

Mediabug Wave 6, released today, reports that 30% of UK consumers use an SVOD service each month, an increase of +4% in 6 months. However this growth has come from older age groups, with 35-44’s (+7%), 45-54’s (+15%), and 55+ (+8%) age ranges all increasing their usage, whilst 16-24’s dropped 12% over the same period. Both Netflix and Amazon Prime grew their subscriber bases over this period, with Netflix adding +6% to their paid subscribers, and Amazon Prime adding +3%.

Mediabug Wave 6 - SVOD trends over 2014 2015


This growth is being propelled by the increasing accessibility of SVOD services on TV’s and set top boxes. Already on Virgin TiVo, Netflix recently also arrived on Youview boxes with around 40% of Youview owners now using their box to stream VOD to their TV’s at least once a month. In addition Smart TV’s, many of which have apps for both Netflix and Amazon Prime, have continued their strong growth. 29% of broadband-enabled homes now have one, and 89% of them are connected to the Internet.

Whilst BARB figures recently reported declines in live viewing, it seems that this growth in appetite for TV-based subscription VOD has not significantly eroded the Pay TV base. 81% of Smart TV homes also have a Pay TV subscription, and this proportion has actually been increasing for the past 2 years.

Director of Decipher Media Research Dr. Hamish McPharlin said: ‘In Wave 6 we’re seeing a subtle shift in tone when it comes to digital consumption. With over 35’s getting on board with subscription VOD, we can see that it has moved past early adopter behaviour and is gaining mainstream acceptance, and this is driven by SVOD becoming increasingly accessible on the most popular mainstream device: the TV”.

Now in its fourth year, the bi-annual tracker is based on an online consumer survey of 3000 UK consumers, and reports on how new technology is impacting media consumption.


Key Findings from Mediabug Wave 6 2015

Specific findings from Mediabug Wave 6 include:

  • BBC iPlayer reaches more regular viewers through TV set top boxes than it does through the web and devices combined: iPlayer is accessed monthly by 28% of UK consumers through the web, devices, and Smart TV’s, however a further 29% access it through TV set top boxes.
  • NOW TV has increased Sky’s monthly VOD reach by just over 3%: 3 in 10 of UK residents who have broadband internet access Sky or Now TV on demand either through a set top box or online through a multitude of devices monthly. There is only a very small overlap in Sky and Now TV’s online VOD audience suggesting that NOW TV has enabled Sky to reach new online VOD customers
  • Films are the most popular VOD choice: Just over a third of TV VOD viewers accessed films on demand in the last month. According to the BARB Viewing Report, the number of films on live TV securing audiences of over 2.5m has dropped significantly in the last 10 years. The importance of films in terms of TV VOD usage suggests that audiences are still viewing films but increasingly preferring to do so via Video On Demand.

Mediabug Wave 6 is now available for purchase.

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