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Europeans watching two more hours of VoD content a month

Online long-form content is the fastest-growing category in the top five European markets

Europeans are watching an additional two hours of on-demand content each month across all platforms, compared to the previous year.

This is according to a new report from IHS Markit, which found that linear TV viewing time declined, year on year, across the leading five European markets in 2017, while time-shifted viewing, via personal video recorders (PVRs), has also stagnated or declined.

The share of viewing time devoted to online platforms has increased, with an average of 10 minutes per-person per-day devoted to online short-form video content (up to 15 minutes in length), and eight minutes to long-form content (over 15 minutes in length), the report said.

Europeans continue to embrace on-demand viewing, with the UK leading the market. Daily linear viewing time in the UK declined by more than eight minutes per person in 2017, as PVR time shifting also declined for the second consecutive year. However, on-demand viewing added five daily minutes per person, with the UK leading in the amount of time spent viewing non-linear content compared to the other four markets.

Online long-form consumption grew 21 per cent, rising three minutes per-person per-day since 2016, with subscription OTT services accounting for 74 per cent of viewing minutes, compared to 69 per cent in 2016.

“The shift to OTT consumption signals the need for pay-TV operators to act quickly, in order to retain their foothold in the market,” said Rob Moyser, TV and online video analyst, IHS Markit. “Leading operators are already enhancing their current propositions and embracing OTT, to ensure they capture some of the time spent on other devices and services, so they can stay at the forefront of consumers’ minds.”