UK audience for online TV and film content hits 21m
The UK audience figures for TV- and movie-affiliated websites has hit 21m, with YouTube and BBC by far the most popular websites for viewing programme content and details, according to a survey by Nielsen Online.
Around 21m Britons visited a TV-, video- or movie-related website last month, representing a 28% year-on-year increase, while the time spent viewing these sites has almost doubled to 91% from 641m in September 2006 to 1.2bn minutes in September this year.
The Nielsen Online survey found that 63% of the UK population have visited websites in the TV, film and video sector, representing a 15% year-on-year rise, while Google-owned video sharing site YouTube and the BBC's TV and movie output have emerged as the most popular destinations for film and TV fans.
YouTube attracted a unique UK audience of 9.4m in September, representing a 28% active viewing reach totalling 499m minutes of programming content watched in the month. The BBC's TV and movie content was in second place with a 6.7m unique UK audience, equating to a 20% active viewing reach, but its programme content watched figure was far less, at only 62m minutes for the month.
Lycos Europe Movie, placed third with a unique UK audience figure of 3m, attracted a 9% active reach representing 37m total minutes watched. Sky's movie and TV content came fourth in the poll, level with Lycos Europe Movie's UK audience figure of 3m but with a 9% active reach and 41m minutes of programming content watched.
ITV's movie and TV output completed the top five, garnering a unique UK audience figure for September of 2.1m, equating to a 6% active reach and 29m minutes of programmes watched.
Other online movie and film destinations in the UK audience top 10 include Channel 4, Google Video, Odeon, TV.com and TV-links.co.uk, which was the third stickiest website in terms of programme minutes watched with 71m, but has now closed down amid claims it was illegally providing links to TV and film content.
Nielsen Online said that despite YouTube's continuing legal disputes with programme content makers and distributors, the website has an undeniable influence on the consumption of social media that would continually pull in viewers.
Alex Burmaster, European internet analyst at Nielsen Online, said: "The fact that YouTube is the most popular site in this sector shows the power of social media as an entertainment platform -- and the threat or opportunity it poses for traditional media players -- depending on your point of view.
"While the legality of [YouTube] is in question, the appetite that people have for watching this type of content online isn't. It is an example of the potential audiences that await media content owners -- particularly when it comes to back catalogues -- if they can just get their content up and available online."
The top 10 film and TV websites
1. YouTube, 9.4m unique users
2. BBC, 6.7m
3. Lycos Europe Movie, 3.0m
4. Sky, 3.0m
5. ITV, 2.1m
6. Channel 4, 2.1m
7. Google Video, 1.8m
8. Odeon, 0.9m
9. TV-links.co.uk, 0.8m
10. TV.com, 0.8m