Media analyst Screen Digest has revised upwards its forecasts on usage data for the UK online TV market. It follows a surge in usage resulting from the commercial launch of the BBC iPlayer.
Screen Digest says the free-to-view model is emerging as a driver in broadband TV services. The company reports that 0.8bn free-to-view online TV streams and downloads – including TV shows, sports and niche programming – were initiated by UK broadband households in 2007. This is now expected to rise to 1.5 billion in 2008, and forecast to hit 2.8bn by 2012.
However, revenues from the free-to-view services remain unchanged from previous reports, going from £19m in 2007 to £98m in 2012. It says there is a lack of clear strategies from the commercial broadcasters.
Broadband TV News notes that although Sky, ITV and Channel 4 all launched broadband TV services while the iPlayer was still in its Public Value Test, the BBC’s promotional machine is already pushing the iPlayer ahead.