Virgin Media's On-Demand TV Tops 45 Million Views

Friday, September 26th, 2008
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  • On-Demand Viewing Grows by 33 Percent in Less Than a Year
  • Virgin Media is Second Favourite Place to Watch On-Demand, Only Behind YouTube
  • TV Viewing Habits to Enter “New Era”

LONDON — Leading entertainment and communications company, Virgin Media (Nasdaq:VMED), today announced a massive increase in on-demand viewing, jumping from 34 million views in January to 45 million views in August on its TV platform. This is an increase of 33 percent in less than a year and takes total views of on-demand content to 314 million over eight months.

For the first time ever, 50 percent of Virgin Media’s 3.5 million TV customers are watching on-demand regularly. The latest viewing figures reflect a recent survey which found that Virgin Media was second only to You Tube* for on-demand viewing of any kind, putting the company ahead of popular online services such as BBC iPlayer and Google.

The significant take-up in on-demand viewing has been driven by a raft of new content partners and deals in TV, music, movies and kids programming as well as the launch of the popular BBC iPlayer on Virgin Media’s TV service.

Neil Berkett, CEO of Virgin Media, said: “We are clearly on the precipice of some fundamental changes in the way people watch TV. The giant leaps we have taken, this year alone, show how popular on-demand viewing has become and as we continue to add compelling programming and develop innovative new ways of accessing it, we will certainly enter a new era of television.”

There were 16 million views of Virgin Media’s on-demand music service in August, its highest ever level since the service was launched. This follows new developments such as the launch of genre based music playlists, special features including concerts by the Sugarbabes and Kanye West and highlights of the V Festival, alongside competitions to win sought after gig tickets. In July, Virgin Media announced that Leona Lewis’ hit single “Bleeding Love” was the first music video to receive one million on-demand views.

Kids programming saw an uplift of 300,000 views in the last month alone, reaching 2.5 million views in August. The jump in viewing has been put down to great kids content including Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants.

Virgin Media’s popular Movies on-demand service, operated and managed by FilmFlex, experienced a 15% month-on-month growth in August, following a 9% rise in July. This service has now totalled over 30 million buys and offers more first run on-demand movies than any other service in Europe.

The take-up of BBC iPlayer on Virgin Media’s TV platform has continued to grow with an average of 11.5 million views per month. BBC iPlayer on Virgin Media’s TV platform now accounts for around a third of all BBC iPlayer** views, demonstrating the huge popularity of Virgin Media’s on-demand service with viewers. Virgin Media was the first TV platform to launch BBC iPlayer and remains the only TV provider to carry the service.

* EMR/Wiggan Ent research (January 2008)
**According to BBC figures for May 2008, total views of BBC iPlayer online were 21.8 million (across all ISPs)