The UK is the first European nation to adopt digital video recorders (PVRs) in significant numbers, according to international research firm Parks Associates’ new study Entertainment 2.0 in Europe.
The five-country study examined entertainment trends across Europe and found over one-third of UK broadband households own a PVR. British households are also more likely than other European PVR households to record programmes and skip commercials.
At the same time, PVR use has not completely replaced use of broadcast TV. Even young UK consumers with a PVR continue to watch broadcast TV more often than recorded programmes, part of the overall trend in Europe where households are less receptive than their US counterparts to television services.
“If Americans are wedded to their TVs, Europeans are just dating,” said John Barrett, director of research, Parks Associates. He pointed out that while UK adoption rates are strong by European standards, they still fall behind the US, where over 40% of broadband households now own a PVR. “Europeans have traditionally been less enthusiastic about in-home entertainment than Americans. Pay TV, PVRs, and VOD have been harder sells as a result. These findings show how, at least in the case of the United Kingdom, we’re seeing some traction.”
A number of factors explain this gap between the US and Europe. For example, strong public broadcasting has left less room in Europe for private, pay-TV services. In the US, poor free-to-air reception and a weaker public broadcaster have created a market for premium services.