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UK lockdown streaming habits here to stay

For its Behind The Screens survey the media and advertising division of Samsung Electronics, took insights from millions of Samsung Smart TV devices across EU5 countries, namely UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy. Samsung Ads Smart TV viewer data was regarded as being broadly representative of all TV users for each country, and was verified by Kantar ComTech TV data.

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The top line finding was that 2020, time spent streaming overtook linear TV minutes on Samsung Smart TVs in the UK. Indeed, the study noted that The UK was leading the streaming trend in the EU5, consuming an average of 13% less linear TV than Samsung Smart TVs in Germany, Italy, Spain and France. Whilst recognising that trends were undoubtedly exacerbated by lockdown, Samsung remarked that there is evidence that streaming is a habit set to stay within the Samsung Smart TV environment, despite the gap between streaming and linear narrowing since 2020. For the first half of 2021 in the UK, Samsung Smart TVs consumed 32 minutes extra per day of streamed content compared with linear services.

Linear still drew in the crowds for live sporting events. 2021’s summer of sport with Euro 2020, Wimbledon and the Olympics, took linear to the top for the first time since March 2020. While it said that it had seen a shift back to streaming in the months since, Samsung said that it was clear that British audiences still “love” to watch sporting TV together and on terrestrial TV. While streaming remains overall more popular on Samsung Smart TVs, the research showed there was still an appetite for linear around major live events. Samsung Smart TVs in the UK saw a 20% jump in average hours spent watching linear in June.

Growth in subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) has remained largely flat, growing steadily at 4% year-on-year in terms of time spent viewing per TV. Meanwhile, AVOD (ad-supported video on demand) has started to close the gap – amassing a 150% growth in the UK since January 2020. It now accounts for 50 minutes per day on Samsung Smart TVs in the UK.

This said Samsung reflected the growth of traditional AVOD services like YouTube as well as the increasing popularity of FAST platforms like Samsung TV Plus, which saw a 23% year-on-year growth between Q3 2020 and Q3 2021.

“While we saw many changes in viewership over the past 18 months, many stakeholders within the CTV ecosystem awaited to see if those changes stuck,” commented Alex Hole, vice president of Samsung Ads Europe. “The initial results are in and while linear still dominates for live TV, we can see that streaming has become an entrenched habit among Samsung Smart TVs in the UK. This means that keeping a close eye on where a given audience will be spending – and splitting – their total TV time is more critical than ever if advertisers wish to reach them in the right moments.” Rapid TV News

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