UK TV, films get big kick from legal downloading and streaming

DetailsEditor | 23 July 2015

On the same day that the BBC found out that it was losing from unauthorised global iPlayer access, the UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has revealed the strength of legal online video streaming and downloading.

An IPO survey revealed that just over three-fifths of Internet users in the UK have downloaded or streamed music, TV shows, films, computer software, videogames or e-books - up from 56% in 2013. It also showed that there was a 10% increase in UK consumers accessing content through legal services, although a fifth of consumers still access some content illegally.

Ten million UK Internet users have accessed films online, with Netflix, Amazon and YouTube being the top platforms for film downloads and streaming. Netflix alone was responsible for 44% of all activity. By contrast, 15 million UK Internet users have accessed a TV programme online. The BBC iPlayer, You Tube and ITV Player were the top platforms for accessing TV programmes online with BBC iPlayer responsible for 62% of activity.

The findings also show that the average quarterly spend on downloading and streaming content ranged from £6.68 for TV programmes to £20.28 for music. The most common reasons given for infringing were because it's free (49%) and convenient (43%).

Commenting on the report, Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Neville Rolfe said: "It's great news that a huge proportion of UK consumers are going online to enjoy music, TV shows, video games and e-books legally, supporting our creative industries to grow and showing the benefits of making legal content widely available. By building a clear picture of online streaming and downloading trends we can work with industry and international partners to tackle the problems of internet piracy and increase public awareness of the ways people can download and stream legally."