Research: Streaming Is a Goldmine in the U.K.26 Oct, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Internet users in the United Kingdom spend 240 million hours every month watching online video, spearheaded by YouTube and video-on-demand services from the BBC’s iPlayer and ITV Player, according to a new report.
London-based research company Experian Hitwise said in September U.K. Internet users accrued more than 785 million unique visits to online video sites, up 36% from the same period last year. The surge underscores interest by Netflix and Amazon to establish streaming platforms in the region — the latter through its LoveFilm property.
Indeed, Netflix said it would bow streaming service in the United Kingdom and Ireland in the first quarter of 2012. CFO David Wells, during the company’s Q3 fiscal call, questioned whether competitor LoveFilm actually had implemented subscription streaming — as speculated in the media.
Other online sites generating significant upticks in video consumption included videozer (up 853%), MSN Video (up 913%) and Hulu (up 123%).
“There are now more visits to video websites every month than to email providers, travel or sports sites, which represents a huge opportunity to the savvy marketer,” said James Murray, marketing research analyst with Experian.
Murray said the average Internet user will make 18 visits to video sites a month and almost half will visit at least three different sites.
While YouTube dominates the market, the increase in traffic to video-on-demand and more niche sites demonstrates that content is what matters most to today’s Internet users and they'll go to whichever site has the content they're most interested in viewing, according to Murray.
Music, TV, films and gaming are the top four search topics driving users to video websites. Music videos are the biggest driver of traffic, accounting for 33% of search clicks. Separately, 17% of search clicks were for TV-related terms, including “EastEnders,” “Britain's Got Talent,” “X-Factor” and “South Park,” while gamers were looking for trailers for new games and walkthrough cheats.
Murray said the surge in online video consumption in the U.K. represents myriad opportunities for marketers and brands such as Netflix and Amazon.
“Online video is a very diverse media that can be used to build brand awareness, to bring traffic to a website, as an educational tool to demonstrate a product or service, as a customer service channel, or as a way to attract a completely new online audience,” he said.