Don’t forget the devices…

So everyone keeps on telling me that online video is just a fad, it’s all about getting your service on to the TV set in the living room. I’m not convinced the numbers agree. We’ve been looking at iPlayer data and benchmarking it against the penetrated user base of the devices on which you can currently access the iPlayer. When you look at the last 12 months, you can see that the TV set distribution (Virgin Media in this case) delivers about 6 views per month for every TV set viewer that could watch the iPlayer (23m views divided by 3.8m users). For games consoles, computers and smartphones/tablets (iOS), users average between 1 and 2 views per month.

Now here the point. If you add non-TV set viewing together you get nearly as much viewing as on the TV set. What’s more is there’s a huge amount of growth potential in the non-TV set markets. Only 5m games consoles can currently access iPlayer, there are 12m that don’t have iPlayer (xBox or non-connected Wiis and PS3s) and probably some more growth after that. Smartphone/tablets have only just started (we estimate around 7m for this dataset) and only around 30% of the current online population watch TV on their computer (with still more people due to come online). TV set penetration is limited. You’re not going to get more than 2 or 3 in a home and often less than that. A total penetration of 30m-40m is probably the maximum you’ll get. If you combine all of the other devices you can now watch TV on you get a universe 4 or 5 times the size of that and if, as you can see, they watch as much TV (when combined), you shouldn’t underestimate the power of non-TV set TV viewing.