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Consumer research in an instant

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I recently celebrated a Big Birthday –no, you can’t ask which one – and it got me reminiscing about old times, when every family night in was preceded by a quick road trip to Domino’s via the local DVD rental store. How things have changed. Whilst the UK’s pizza market is still going strong – with an annual growth of over 5% – film rental looks a little different in 2015.

Blockbusters, the UK’s biggest and best known video rental store, finally went belly up two years ago – and perfectly reflecting today’s high street, my local outlet is now a Poundworld. While we’re there, congratulations to Messrs Edwards Snr and Jnr on a blockbusting year yourselves…

So where are we going for our movie kicks? Not that long ago I would have been writing about cut-price DVDs available in supermarkets but not anymore, my TMP faithful. These day’s it’s all about instant downloads.

Their day has come.

No longer the preserve of the super geek with their 80MHz channel widths and 10,000 Mbits/s broadband, there are now over 7 million UK households with subscription video-on-demand (SVOD – I’m feeling a bit of a super geek myself). According to Futuresource Consulting, the UK online video market has grown to four times the size it was in 2011 – and that makes it worth £600 million. £350 million of that comes from SVOD. We’re talking the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video and predictions state that by 2019 this part of the market alone will be worth over £1 billion from nearly 14 million households – that’s over half the UK.

The rest of the market is made up by TVODs -transactional video on demand – where the consumer pays for each individual video on demand programme. So if you’re into watching the odd world title bout on Sky Box Office you’re paying into an industry worth £250 million each year. This side to the streaming market started punching above its weight a few years ago and performed poorly until last year, when it grew by almost 30%. That’s a comeback worth writing about.

Embracing technology

The only thing I can tell you about technology is that it’s always changing – some days I can barely keep up. But thanks to advances that include the availability of fibre broadband, the streaming market has gone from strength to strength. Gone are the days of waiting an age for films to buffer – now you can’t tell the difference between streamed content and old fashioned television broadcasting.

It all makes me wonder what the future holds for the humble TV licence. Numbers of licences are holding their own but the concept of live TV might find itself obsolete any time soon – but if the bods at the Beeb want to find out what their viewers want from them now and in the future, I’m sure I can give them a few pointers.

You’re a smart bunch so I’m sure you keep on top of market predictions – but when you want to know how that translates to the needs of your consumers, The Monachie Project is always ready to serve. Come to think of it, if I get my consumer research consultants to wear head cams we could stream our feedback live to clients. It might be a horror story at times but that’s one TVOD I’d definitely pay to view.

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