Online video revenue grew in the United Kingdom from £2.7 billion in 2018 to £3.1 billion in 2019. The majority came from subscriptions, with advertising accounting for around £1 billion. While broadband access is improving for some people, 13% of households are still not online in the United Kingdom, a proportion that has not reduced over the past three years.
Of those with broadband, 69% receive download rates of at least 30 megabits per second, an increase of 10% from 2018 to 2019. The volume of data delivered over a fixed connection has risen to an average of 315 gigabytes a month, according to figures from the communications regulator Ofcom.
More than half of households now have a smart television, and almost two-thirds of households now have their television connected to the internet in some way. 39% of households have an ultra-high-definition television set.
The time spent viewing live broadcast television continued to fall in 2019. Daily viewing fell from an average 3 hours 12 minutes per day in 2018 to 3 hours 3 minutes in 2019.
People aged 75 and over watched almost six hours daily, falling to 1 hour 9 minutes among those aged 16-24. There was a brief reversal in some of these trends in the first half of 2020 as a result of the social restrictions imposed in response to coronavirus. By July, average viewing across all individuals was down to 3 hours a day, a little higher than in 2019.
The total audiovisual sector in the United Kingdom accounted for television and video revenues of £16.4 billion in 2019, which has been broadly flat for four years.
Television subscription accounted for £6.3 billion, or 38.4% of audiovisual revenues. Television advertising represented £3.6 billion, or 22.3%. Publicly funded channels accounted for £2.4 billion, or 14.6%. Other television revenues were £0.9 billion, or 5.5%, while online audiovisual was worth 3.1 billion, or 19.1%.
Of the online audiovisual revenue, almost £1.1 was from advertising, while approaching £1.7 billion was from subscriptions, with the rest coming from retail and rental transactions.
The overall advertising market grew by £1.2 billion, with the majority of this from the continued growth of online advertising, which increased from £13.9 billion to £15.7 billion.
However, the latest survey figures from Ofcom show that only 82% of households have a fixed broadband internet connection and 13% still do not have any form of internet connection at home.
Less than three quarters of those aged 65-74 have any form of internet connection at home. Only 55% of those aged over 75 have a fixed internet connection.
That points to the continuing importance of broadcast services for those that also tend to watch the most television.
The annual report from M-Lab and Cable.co.uk, based on over half a billion connection tests conducted worldwide, ranks average rates in the United Kingdom among the slowest in Europe and 47 in the world, with the United States at 20, below the Slovak Republic.
It measured the average download rate in the United Kingdom at 37.8 megabits per second. That is considerably less than the 64 megabits per second reported by Ofcom, which measures connections at the router, avoiding issues like poor wireless connections.
The Communications Market Report 2020 is published by Ofcom, now available as in interactive presentation on its web site.