Comments on: “Not Linear or On-Demand”: Television in “the Internet Age” Responses to Media and Culture Fri, 12 Feb 2016 19:35:04 +0000 hourly 1 By: MikeB Sat, 19 Dec 2015 20:25:55 +0000 An interesting and detailed overview of the UK landscape. However, one of the things that does stand out is still the number of people who do watch live. 69% of content is watched live (and is VOD watched live ‘live’?), and the amount of recording has fallen. However, that might not be to do with people watching more VOD, but simply that since digital switchover in the UK, a large amount of (analogue) VCR’s stopped working, and many people (judging by my customers) have not got around to replacing them yet, even 3-4 years later. They simply got out of the habit.

Many people (and this is not just older people) barely use the smart features on their new TV’s, and even if they do, its often no more than Iplayer. Often slow broadband speed and the ‘habit’ of watching VOD on a laptop etc means they are not making full use of what they have.

However, many people watch everything on demand or pre-recorded, although even though will watch ‘water cooler’ moments live. And its true that Netflix, Amazon prime etc are becoming far established. But looking at the 16-24 age range, the really big change is the amount of free conetn they are watching, such as Youtube. It will be interesting to see if they carry on watching that sort of content when they are 34, and have two young children! Will they revert to the mean?

I suspect that human nature takes a lot longer to adapt than the technological possibilities allow. One of the problems with seeing the TV landscape through the eyes of commentators is they tend not to be representative. They tend to have fast broadband, the latest tech, above average income, and more extensive services available than much of the population. They are also much more likely to have seen ‘Orange is the New Black’ than Eastenders or Bargain Hunt.

VOD is here to stay, and its going to grow far more. But its not the whole story, and in fact is a relatively small part of the whole at the moment. It will be interesting to see how 4K changes things, because at present, its basically VOD or nothing for 4K!

Amanda – looking at Iplayer, C5 and C4, most programmes might be on for an episode or two. Some will have a whole series, but UK series tend to be much shorter than US ones anyway. C4 has boxset style offerings for things like Father Ted, but newer stuff will be for a week or two, not everything. BBC Iplayer has a huge range of stuff, and might be a whole 6 episodes of an Attenborough, etc.

By: Amanda Lotz Fri, 18 Dec 2015 13:19:03 +0000 Thanks for such a detailed look Catherine–it is difficult to make sense of these distinctions in one’s home context–this is really helpful for understanding the state in Britain. How deep are the series offerings on the free services? In the US, it is typically only the five most recent episodes, which prevents a full season binge that can be done with a service like Netflix. A struggle is emerging here because the VOD services want full seasons, but Netflix (and other secondary buyers) are now paying less for series that have had such extensive VOD exposure leading the studio/networks to be hesitant to offer full seasons–any similar issues in the UK?