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Growth of catch-up viewing via PCs is slowing, says Ofcom

The growth in popularity of watching catch-up services via a PC is slowing down in the UK, according to regulator Ofcom’s latest Communications Market Report.

The number of users watching TV via a PC-delivered catch-up service increase by just three percentage points year-on-year to 29% for the first quarter of 2012 as catch-up services become increasingly available via internet-enabled TV sets.

The Communications Market Report also highlighted that 5% of UK households with a TV own a smart TV.  However, it noted that this figure is set to rise, as smart TV set sales have doubled in the past year and now represent a fifth of all TV sales. Among owners of smart TVs, 65% said they had used the internet connection on their TV. This is despite the fact almost half (47%) of smart TV owners said that internet functionality was not a consideration for them when choosing a new set. Ofcom also found that smart TVs are used most widely for watching catch-up TV.  Among users of smart TVs, 51% had used their set to watch catch-up TV, while activities including social networking (25%) and online shopping (13%) were less commonly undertaken on smart TVs.

The Communications Market Report found that total TV industry revenues increased by 4.9%, or £579 million (€737 million), in nominal terms to £12.3 billion in

2011, driven by continued growth in TV subscription income, coupled with an increase in TV net advertising revenue. Revenue from pay TV subscriptions has remained largely unaffected throughout the economic downturn and increased again in 2011 by £403 million (or 8.3%) to £5.2 billion.

Tags: Ofcom, UK