Data reveals the rise of personalised TV thanks to TiVo® Service
Virgin Media, the UK’s leading entertainment and communications company, confirms its customers watched more TV On Demand than expected in 2011 as the advent of Virgin Media’s TiVo Service accelerates dramatic changes in how people are watching television.
One year ago Virgin Media predicted its customers’ growing love for TV On Demand would drive a significant increase in the number of programmes watched at a time that suits them. The company anticipated total On Demand views for the year would exceed one billion. The final total was 1,004,447,198, an overall increase of 14% on 2010.
Virgin Media TV customers sat down to watch On Demand for a combined total of approximately 490 million hours. If a single person wanted to watch this much television back-to-back, it would take more than 56,000 years. ITV’s Coronation Street was the most watched catch-up show, while The Vampire Diaries was the most popular complete series. With people still spending as much time watching linear broadcast TV as they did the year before1, the growth in On Demand viewing is answering the question of ‘What’s on?’ with ‘Whatever you want.’
During 2011 Virgin Media also made its revolutionary TiVo Service available to new subscribers for the first time. As the UK’s first next generation entertainment platform, it seamlessly combines the live TV schedule with On Demand, as well as the best of the web. This allows Virgin Media to add even more via a dedicated internet connection that delivers further programming and powers interactive apps which can build engagement and consumer excitement around films such as Harry Potter and shows like True Blood.
Research from 2011 confirms TiVo’s power to help customers personalise, control and find what they want as well. 88% of customer searches were for programmes outside BARB’s top 50, with TiVo enabling people to easily navigate the growing number of channels and On Demand content, not just those at the top of a TV guide. This is enriching the entertainment experience for households across the country as well as bringing new and niche content to the awareness of wider audiences.
The game changing service features a highly intelligent recommendations engine which learns to predict and suggest shows that a household will like. With either a 500GB or a market-leading 1TB of recording capacity available, the average number of recordings stored per box is ninety, spilt equally between those set up by the customer and those saved and recommended by TiVo. Within three months, TiVo users are typically looking at these recordings more than they do the traditional TV guide2. Customers are also using the iconic TiVo thumbs to ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ shows eight million times a month on average.
Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media said: “Essentially people are watching more TV; whether that’s On Demand, suggestions recorded for them, or as a result of new and exciting interactive experiences. We know On Demand is incredibly popular as it’s watched more than any channel except for BBC1 or ITV1 but we far surpassed our expectations in 2011. We’ve led the development of On Demand and we’re now doing the same with TiVo, which takes the entertainment experience to another level.
“The TV world is changing, with TiVo’s powerful functionality and ease of use giving people even more control over what they watch and when. The advocacy we’re seeing from users is vociferous with over half telling us they’re recommending the service to their friends and family. Together with the UK’s fastest widely available broadband, Virgin Media is putting the power of the digital world in the hands of our customers.”
Notes to Editors
1 According to commercial TV industry body Thinkbox, viewers spent 4 hours 2 minutes per day watching TV, the same as in 2010. www.thinkbox.tv/server/show/nav.1263
2 Locally stored recordings are not regarded as contributing to On Demand views.
About Virgin Media TV On Demand
The unique infrastructure of Virgin Media’s cable network ensures over six thousand hours of programming, including services such as BBC iPlayer and 4OD, are instantly available. Virgin Media TV customers can choose from shows such as The Big Bang Theory, chart music videos from artists including Rihanna and Adele, blockbuster films like Bridesmaids, and more, in HD and 3D too.
2011 saw Virgin Media invest even further in the range and amount of available On Demand entertainment. The launch of Sky Anytime on Virgin Media TV added almost two thousand extra hours of movies, shows and sport at no extra cost for premium subscribers. New multi-screen deals with BBC Worldwide, NBCUniversal and Aardman Entertainment, as well as the UK premiere of cult hit Party Down from Starz, saw Virgin Media confirm its position as the country’s leading On Demand service.
Key statistics at a glance:
- 1,004,447,198 total On Demand views in 2011
- Approximately 490 million hours watched On Demand
- Over 200,000 more homes are regularly watching On Demand since the end of 2010
- Coronation Street topped the seven-day catch-up TV chart for the second year running
- The complete first series of The Vampire Diaries proved the most popular TV box set
- Science fiction comedy Paul (including in HD) was the top film of the year
- Jessie J’s Price Tag is 2011’s most watched music video
- Virgin Media TiVo searches amount to 1 million in a typical month
- 88% of searches are for programmes outside the BARB top 50
- TiVo users store on average 45 recordings at any one time
- TiVo’s recommendations engine stores on average 45 recordings per box at any one time
- Within three months, TV EPG viewings are typically surpassed by views of ‘My Shows’
- 2.4 million apps launched in a typical month, for on average 21 minutes a time
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About Virgin Media
Virgin Media is the first provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services in the UK.
The company’s cable network – the result of multi-billion pound private investment – delivers ultrafast broadband to over half of all UK homes, with speeds of up to 120Mb, as well as market leading connectivity to thousands of public and private sector organisations across the country.
Virgin Media has developed the most advanced interactive television service, bringing together broadcast TV, thousands of hours of on demand programming and the best of the web in a single set-top box powered by TiVo. The company was the first to offer HD TV and 3D on demand to millions of British households.
The world’s first virtual mobile network was launched by Virgin Media and it is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country.
Virgin Media is a part of Liberty Global plc, the world’s largest broadband communications group. Together Virgin Media and Liberty Global serve 25 million customers across 14 countries, helping connect people to the digital world and enabling them to discover and experience its endless possibilities.
For more information, go to www.virginmedia.com