This is across Freeview live and on-demand as well as additional services such as Prime Video, Rakuten TV, YouTube and premium channels such as Fox, MTV, Comedy Central and Premier Sports.
This brings the average number of hours viewed by households to a staggering 5.7 hours a day during the period with some days on Xmas week reaching over 6 hours a day, over 40% of the “awake time” of the household!
Although average session times on popular streaming services like Amazon Prime saw healthy usage, especially among certain high demand points such as Premier League broadcasts, the promotion of big family titles like Mulan on Rakuten TV maintained engagement on those services too.
Ad-funded breaks down between the well known Freeview Play on-demand programmes (known as Broadcaster VOD or BVOD) and ad-funded streaming services (AVOD) like YouTube and W4Free which recently added 100+ free movies such as cult classic Jabberwocky.
For the traditional broadcasters, top shows like BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing final or Channel 4’s Bake Off specials topped the charts, but the biggest growth came from ITV Hub with mega-hits over Xmas such as the Hey Tracey Christmas Special and Gary Barlow’s Night At The Museum. Also popular was My5, particularly Fifty Shades trilogy over Xmas.
YouTube and other AVOD players such as W4Free (which offered an array of Christmas themed movies available for free) and Plex TV now represent almost half of the share of viewings across the “free TV” category.
YouTube’s extraordinary progress has been observed since the beginning of 2020. Most of the service growth comes from live streaming on the app especially around some categories such as eSports.