The popularity of BBC iPlayer, other free streaming services, and even Kodi has decreased, with more people seemingly happy to pay for subscription services like Netflix, a new report has found.
Fewer people have been using iPlayer in 2018 than in 2017, according to the Intellectual Property Office’s (IPO) latest annual Online Copyright Infringement Tracker report.
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For the report, 2890 people (based in the UK and aged 12 and older) who have consumed or shared content in the past three months were asked which service they used.
YouTube was the most popular of the lot, with 54% − up from 51% last year − saying they’d used the Google-owned video site at some point during the past three months.
The second-most popular streaming service was Netflix, which had been used by 38% of respondents. That’s a significant improvement on last year, when it was used by 31% of participants in the study.
BBC iPlayer, third on the leaderboard behind Netflix, scored 31%, down from 35% last year.
iPlayer and ITV hub suffered the biggest year-on-year usage declines, according to the IPO’s figures. ITV Hub was used by 13% of respondents, down from 21% last year.
However, since the survey was conducted in March − before the World Cup, which is being split between the BBC and ITV − there’s a very strong chance those numbers are on the rise.
Other big names on the list were Spotify (27%, up from 26% in 2017), All 4 (17%, steady), Apple Music (12%, up from 10% last year), Sky Go (11%, steady), My5 (7%, down from 8% last year) and Kodi (6%, down from 7% last year).
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“The proportion of people who only consume free content continues to fall as more services move to premium models,” the report says. “This is an indication that people are chasing the best content and are willing to pay for ease of access to it.”
In terms of awareness, however, iPlayer comes top of the pops, with 71% of respondents saying they were aware of the service’s existence. This is up from 68% in 2017.
Awareness of Netflix increased from 64% to 66%, while awareness of YouTube apparently dropped, from 71% to 66%.
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