Seven ways streaming has changed television in UK
Streaming platforms have disrupted the entertainment industry to a huge extent. The latest industry to join the trend in earnest is film, but TV has been dramatically affected over the last ten years. Here are some of the ways streaming has changed television in the UK.
The rise of series binging
Unlike paid TV channels, where an episode is dropped every week, streaming platforms release an entire season in one day. Even though some streaming platforms like Apple and Hulu still use the model of airing weekly, Netflix, the largest streaming platform in the world, doesn’t. This approach has been used with great success over the years, keeping viewers excited and engaged, and most importantly avoiding losing an audience who might otherwise wander away.
The practice of watching multiple shows in one sitting – better known as binging – is now the preferred way of watching shows in the UK. Anyone looking for a solid evening (or weekend) of back-to-back episodes should check out Screenbinge for a list of the best movies and shows available on the world’s most famous streaming platforms.
Niche content for niche viewers
Traditional UK TV used the broadcast model to create broadly appealing content to cater to a broad audience. That’s how shows like The Simpsons, Coronation Street and The IT Crowd thrived. But streaming platforms like BritBox, Netflix, HBO Max, and others have changed audiences’ viewing habits. Now, viewers can access content through various devices, such as mobile phones, consoles, or TV, and they can choose from a huge array of content options. This is a double-edged sword because, even though the content is consumed across multiple devices, it can create a fractured audience.
So, over the years, streaming platforms have been forced to develop new ways to keep the viewer engaged. The only way to do that is to give the audience something they can’t resist – and giving the viewers precisely what they want is something streaming platforms have excelled at. For example, Amazon Prime provides Lore, which is like X-Files, and for those who like True Crime, Netflix ups the game with Making a Murderer – and then they follow up with more options in the same vein.
The introduction of streaming platforms into the UK market
Almost all the major streaming platforms are available in the UK. Netflix is the undisputed king in the UK streaming market, with 84% of Britons subscribed to the service in 2020. Amazon Prime came a close second with a respectable 62%, Disney+ has 26%, while Now TV has 12%. Other streaming platforms will follow suit to make the UK streaming market even more competitive.
The decline of broadcast TV
Television has been through an incredible transformation since its creation, not just in the UK, but worldwide. Streaming, which is the latest technology in consuming video content, has transformed viewing habits. Broadcast TV is on the decline, with the vast majority of the British public embracing streaming. Statistics show that one in four Brits prefer watching subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) instead of traditional broadcast TV.
In addition, cultural and technological shifts have affected how people of varying ages consume media. Today, one can access video content on TVs, computers, smartphones, consoles, etc, from almost anywhere. In Britain, 84% still prefer to watch TV shows and films on TV sets, but 40% of 16 to 24-year-olds like to watch on a non-TV device.
Changes in top-rated programs
This might not be seen as a significant change, but what viewers have voted as top content has a great impact on what gets seen, and therefore what gets made. Genres have shifted because of the rise of streaming films in the UK. Over the last decade, entertainment programs are no longer the leading genre in the UK.
Programs like The Mike Yarwood Christmas Show and The Eurovision Song Contest used to steal the limelight, but have been overtaken by reality TV, such as The Great British Bake Off.
The decline in TV advertising
The rise of streaming has led to a decline in TV revenue. Ten years ago, TV ads used to bring in a lot of money, but this is no longer the case, particularly with different streaming platforms entering the UK market. TV has and will experience further spending declines because advertisers follow the viewers’ eyeballs.
Growth of UK content
In 2020 global streaming giant Netflix increased its content spend on UK productions by 50% to hit the $1 billion mark. This shows how much the content streaming site believes in the UK and the future production plans. Such investments will change British television, allowing the region to produce even more quality content. Also, the options will be accessible to viewers globally, which is excellent for UK culture.
The editorial unit