Increased competition from OTT online video services such as Netflix and Amazon could reduce audience share and revenues for the public service broadcasters, according to a new consultation by UK regulator Ofcom.
However, while faster shift from live TV to on-demand viewing could reduce the reach of the PSBs, the report points out that demographic changes in the UK, particularly differences between younger and older audiences, are themselves potentially challenging: while a failure to respond may result in falling viewing share, innovation and increasing use of on-demand may allow better targeting of distinct audience groups.
Amongst its conclusions, Ofcom suggest PSBs may need greater flexibility in choosing how they deliver public service content, including online, on-demand and on mobile.
Overall, viewing to the main PSB channels accounted for over half (51.1%) of all TV viewing in the UK in 2013, although falling from 60.8% in 2008. If the PSB’s ‘+1′ channels are taken into account, the combined viewing share of the PSBs was 58.7% in 2013.