Live TV thriving despite VOD rise

Live viewing continues to thrive despite the popularity of video-on-demand, with the UK continuing to watch live TV 90% of the time, according to a Thinkbox study. 

The marketing body for commercial TV in the UK said researchers identified six core reasons why people watch live TV, including to unwind, to feel a connection with society or to a time and place, and for the escapism it can provide.

The ‘Screen Life: TV in demand’ study said that while VOD “excels at satisfying personal approaches to TV” it is less suited to “more social needs such as unwinding and seeking comfort.” The research found that on 54% of the occasions we watch live TV we’re with someone else compared to 30% for VOD.

“Even among the heavy VOD viewers in the research sample, 60% typically checked what was on the live TV schedule first before considering other options,” said Thinkbox.

The study also found that while live TV is “almost exclusively” watched on a TV set, VOD was split across different screens, with 37% watched on the TV set, 45% on a PC, 14% on a tablet, and 4% on a smartphone.

However, the research sampled a “more technologically advanced than average” group of people, with all respondents owning a smartphone, 46% owning a table and 74% of the sample watching VOD at least once a week.