Streamed TV is becoming increasingly mainstream in the UK, with the rising use of services such as  the BBC iplayer, ITV iplayer or 4oD, according to the latest KPMG Media & Entertainment Barometer.

Streamed TV turns mainstream in the UK

KPMG Media & Entertainment Barometer cover

The Barometer, which looks at the media consumption trends of UK consumers every six months, shows that the BBC iPlayer is the best-known streaming service, with nine out of ten people having heard of it.

The research also revealed that users are increasingly willing to pay for online streaming services, with 64% saying they would pay for films online, compared with 60% in March 2011.

“Judging by our survey it seems that new entrants into the UK market have got their timing right,” says David Elms, Head of Media at KPMG. “The foundations for online streaming services to be successful appear to be set. Not only is awareness and usage of streaming high, but willingness to pay for content has increased too. There are, however, barriers, not least the likely cost of set top boxes. What is more, by the end of 2012, everyone in the UK will have digital terrestrial TV, with the choice of between 20 and 30 channels. That’s a lot of free TV. It is possible that the majority of TV households don’t actually need anything more.”

The Barometer also highlighted the rising ownership of smartphones and tablets, with 44% of respondents saying they own a smartphone as their main phone – compared to 36% six months ago and 27% in 2010. Some 78% use their smartphones to browse the internet and 67% use them for social networking.

“We continue to see mobile media as an attractive means to monetise content, given the continuing rise in the uptake of smartphones, tablets and eReaders,” says Elms. “Whilst consumers continue to embrace new media at a rapid pace, a “mixed ecology” persists, with a majority still enjoying traditional media such as reading books or watching TV.” Indeed the majority of respondents said they prefer the use of “traditional media” such as reading physical books or watching TV — although with the exception of TV, the consumption of traditional media (paper newspapers, physical books, and so on) actually continues to be on the decline.