Traditional TV stations are coming back against online streamers, data shows

Traditional TV stations are coming back against online streamers, data shows

Traditional TV broadcasters appear to be coming back against their new streaming challengers.

In recent years, broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 have faced challenges from new such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Despite having their own streaming platforms such as BBC iPlayer and ITVX, some have suggested that that the large broadcasters could lose out to those newer platforms.

But those traditional broadcasters now appear to be growing faster than their new challengers, official data provided to The Independent indicated.

Those broadcasters – known within the industry as broadcaster VOD services, or BVOD – saw their share of viewer minutes grow by 11 per cent in the first half of this year. That is in contrast to a four per cent decline for the streaming platforms.

A similar, though not quite as stark effect was visible among young people. The traditional broadcasters were up seven per cent while streamers dropped two per cent.

Those BVOD platforms also saw a sharp rise in viewership. Measured in viewing minutes, Channel 4 has grown by 32 per cent, ITV up 25 per cent, and BBC up 23 per cent.

That has fallen at some of the streaming platforms. Amazon has dropped three per cent, according to the same data, though Netflix is up six per cent.

The data runs from the start of the year to 9 June, which means it would miss out on recent viewing habits – including the effect of the Euros.

It is unclear why viewers appear to be turning back to traditional broadcasters. It comes not only amid the cost of living crisis, but also the launch of new platforms such as Freely, which saw the UK’s main broadcasters come together to launch their own online streaming platform.

Those new subscription services are still seeing growth of their own, however. Separate data released by Barb earlier this month showed that more homes than ever had access to at least one of those services.

Netflix is the most popular, with 58 per cent of homes having access to an account, but that was down one percentage point on the previous period.

Other, smaller streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney_ and Apple TV+ all saw growth, however.

Barb cautioned that data could be limited because it is based on samples, and because those involved in the survey might not know whether they have a subscription to a service that is paid for by somebody else, for instance.