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BBC iPlayer leads way for UK OTT providers

YouTube has the largest reach in all countries except the UK, where iPlayer is number one

BBC iPlayer is forging the path for over the top (OTT) providers in the UK. According to new research from Ampere Analysis, YouTube has the largest reach in all countries except the UK, where iPlayer is number one.

The study also showed that Netflix has extended its lead over Facebook as the second most popular service. Meanwhile, internet users are most likely to have watched a video on YouTube in the last month. 

Richard Broughton, director at Ampere, commented: “BBC’s iPlayer continues to demonstrate how successful broadcaster-led on-demand services can be. iPlayer is consistently among the online video services with the widest reach in the UK, and is a clear example for other public and commercial TV groups as to how broadcast players can drive engagement with OTT video users, and compete with new online competitors.”

Amazon viewers are more likely to be men, while Instagram video viewers are more likely to be women, the study said. Amazon has the strongest skew towards male viewers (57%), while for Instagram it’s women (56 per cent versus 44 per cent men). YouTube, Netflix and Facebook video viewers are balanced between men and women.

Over the last two years, the proportion of internet users in the US and Europe who have watched online video on Netflix have generally been increasing, the study showed. However, since Q3 2017, the proportion of internet users who say they have viewed an online video on Facebook has declined, and this decline has occurred in the US and in most European markets. 

Since Q3 2016, US viewers of videos on Facebook have declined from 35.5 per cent to 23.7 per cent of internet respondents. The US has experienced the only double-digit decline, making it the largest decline, followed by Italy (-6.7 points) and Denmark (-6.0 points). The only exceptions to this trend are Poland, where viewers have increased 6.9 points, and the UK have increased slightly (+1.6 points). However, in the UK viewers of video on Facebook have been declining since Q3 2017.

Broughton concluded: “The apparent declining engagement with Facebook video is potentially symptomatic of some of the wider challenges Facebook is facing engaging younger audiences at the moment, and the impacts of the negative press surrounding the use of Facebook data in political campaign targeting. 

“Nonetheless, video remains a priority for Facebook’s growth strategy, and recent investments in new video ad formats, as well as partnerships in the sports sector, highlight the forward-looking efforts that the social media giant is putting into expanding this part of its business.”