LG Ad Solutions, a global leader in connected TV (CTV) and cross-screen advertising, has released the findings of its latest streaming report, “The Big Shift: United Kingdom Wave II,” which found that UK consumers are increasingly shifting away from linear TV, with 25% of those surveyed saying they are watching less linear television than a year ago. In its place, ad-supported streaming services are growing in popularity, with 68% of UK consumers prefer streaming free content rather than paying for a subscription. This is 8% more than US consumers.
“Nearly all UK households are now reachable via CTV, and with a consumer preference for ad-supported content, marketers need to ensure that advertising on free ad-supported content is part of their media mix,” said Ed Wale, VP Europe at LG Ad Solutions. “Our data shows that after seeing a CTV ad, UK TV viewers are more likely to search online, visit a website and talk about the ad or product than US viewers. It’s clear that CTV is a performance channel and gives marketers the chance to reach and interact with an engaged audience.”
The study, which follows LG Ad Solutions’ first “The Big Shift: United Kingdom” report in 2022, surveyed more than 800 UK consumers in August 2023 to determine consumer perceptions and behaviours related to CTV. The study also found that CTV is now the top choice for watching live TV: Among UK viewers, Smart TV applications are the leading choice for watching live TV, with 42 percent preferring this method. The availability of live sports is a driving force, with 53% of UK TV viewers watching sports content via streaming.
Consumers are cutting down on costs: More than 1 in 3 UK TV viewers are concerned about TV costs, with 36% reporting that they have cancelled a streaming service because of economic concerns. Although 86% of UK consumers pay for one or more subscription services, 55% are willing to cancel a subscription after watching the desired content. Consumers are also choosing ads over subscriptions: 20% of UK TV viewers expect to remove a subscription streaming service in the next 12 months, and further, 13% will add a free ad-supported streaming service.
The TV homepages are essential for content discovery: In the UK, the top ranked recommendation source for content is the homepage of the TV screen (53%), above recommendations from friends and family (43%). UK TV viewers are multitasking: 91% multitask with a mobile device or laptop while watching TV, with 64% doing so “always” or “often.” Their second-screen activities include: messaging (54%), shopping (35%), and gaming (30%).