The importance of on demand television over the internet has grown significantly over the past three years, according to Deloitte and YouGov. Questioned as part of a survey released to coincide with the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, participants were asked how important it was to watch on demand services specifically over broadband internet and named YouTube, BBC iPlayer, ITV.com, 4oD, Sky Player and Demand Five. The question has changed slightly in its wording over the past three years but it is ostensibly the same.
In particular the number of 18 to 24 year olds that rate TV over the internet, either clips or an entire programme, as “Very Important” has tripled over the last three years.
However, while enthusiasm for the medium is there, the most frequent quantity of either programmes or clips viewed by respondents was zero! The data indicates only a moderate increase in usage, though amongst those who are using the medium there is a marked rise in those viewing three or four clips a week.
There is no indication from the survey that faster broadband speeds would act as a driver (indeed speeds of 2 Mbps are normally deemed sufficient by most online services).
The findings run counter to recently published consumer research from the regulator Ofcom that found a third of all households in the UK with internet access used it watch online catch-up TV in the first quarter of this year.