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Global pay TV market losing ground to social video viewing, warns Grabyo

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Video audiences are watching on social media and online streaming services more often than pay TV services in all major markets except the UK, according to a new global report from Grabyo.

The report, which surveyed more than 9600 people across the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Australia, and the United States, found that the majority of consumers still watch video most regularly on free-to-air TV, with social media viewing coming in second. The global video market is becoming fragmented and price point matters as consumers show a preference for ad-supported video across a range of platforms.

In the UK, 35% of consumers pay for TV and in this segment more than 60% watch most often on pay TV services. Globally, 48% of pay TV customers are watching pay TV the most. These numbers reflect one of the challenges for paid TV services, as customers paying for TV services don’t use them as regularly as digital alternatives.

Over half of UK audiences are considering ‘cutting the cord’, or have already done so, following the downward trend in cable and satellite subscribers seen in the United States. 48% of UK consumers who are looking to cancel Pay TV subscriptions watch video most often on social media platforms.

Social video audiences are most interested in content from media publishers and brands over anything other types of video. Social media feeds are filled with user-generated video clips, but this is not what most social media users want to watch.

Social platforms are emerging as competitors of TV and online streaming platforms for video audiences, driving investment in media partnerships and original content across Facebook Watch, YouTube, Twitter and Snap These investments are at an early stage but reflect the demands of users that want higher quality video and greater content choice.

In every European market, consumers are streaming video more often than watching pay-TV. In the US, audiences are streaming most often too, watching on social media and pay TV equally as often.

Gareth Capon, Grabyo CEO, explains: “The growth in streaming services and social video offers choice for consumers. The UK’s pay TV market has been resilient given the strength of its content proposition and high-quality services, but this may not last. Broadcasters need to adapt to this shift in viewer behavior and expectations.  We know consumers want to watch broadcast TV content, but they want to watch it on the device that suits them and with a business model that reflects their individual needs.”

The rise in streaming and social viewing is happening because 6 in 10 consumers watch video most frequently on a smartphone. All global audiences under 50 are watching more often on a smart TV, streaming device or laptop/desktop than a traditional TV set. Streaming video on social and digital platforms has become the new norm fo the global video audience. The future of TV is the internet, and the future is almost here.

Read the full report here.

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