Faster broadband internet access has helped to fuel a massive rise in Uk online video viewing, according to new research.
The results from 427 respondents to ISPreview.co.uk’s latest survey have revealed that almost 9 out of 10 UK internet users (84%) are now watching online video content, with 38% viewing related material for more than 4 hours each week.
By contrast an identical study, conducted at the same time three years ago, found how less than half (47.6%) were going online to watch videos and just 12.7% viewed it for more than 4 hours per week.
Faster internet connections and the growing availability of online video, such as from the BBC (iPlayer) and YouTube, appear to be fuelling this growth; 58% of respondents admitted that online video services had made them consider buying a faster or more flexible broadband ISP package.
However 21% claim to have run into problems with their ISP (e.g. higher costs, usage limits etc.) when watching related content.
This growth is also supported by Cisco’s recent Visual Networking Index (*) forecast, which predicted that global internet data traffic would exceed 767Exabytes by 2014, which compares with an annual run rate of 176Exabytes in 2009.
Online video traffic and High Definition Internet TV (IPTV) services were seen as the main reason for the quadruple growth spurt.
“According to Ofcom’s latest data, average broadband download speeds in the UK are 5.2Mbps,” remarked ISPreview.co.uk’s Founder, Mark Jackson. “That’s by no means amazing but it does allow most people to access smooth and good quality (but not HD) video streaming, which has helped to make the service more attractive. Today 24% are spending 1 hour each week watching online video, 11% do it for 2 hours, another 11% manage 3 hours and 38% are using up 4 hours or more on related content!”
“Sadly 21% claim to have experienced problems with their ISP because of online video and there is a risk that the added capacity strain could cause further difficulties in the future. ISPs may impose tougher restrictions or raise prices to compensate. Some might even off-set the capacity costs by doing deals for preferential treatment with major content providers, while restricting speed to others (e.g. YouTube, iPlayer, Skype, Facebook etc.). Consumers need to remain mindful of an ISPs small print and make sure that any ‘Fair Usage Policies’ clearly spell out the restrictions before signing-up.”