Using a hybrid approach to better understand the free-to-air audience for UKTV

Findings from a multi-method research approach fueled UKTV’s strategy around the Free-To-Air audience

The challenge

UKTV is a British multi-channel broadcaster owned by BBC Studios. Its well-known channel brands include Dave, Yesterday, Gold, Drama, Alibi, W and Eden, as well as UKTV Play, an on-demand platform. Before the pandemic already, the proliferation of streaming and on-demand TV services was having a massive impact on Free-To-Air (FTA) viewing behaviour. Yet, COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns accelerated the shift to platforms like Netflix and iPlayer.

Given the size and pace of change in audience behaviour, UKTV wanted to refresh their understanding of these FTA audiences. To inform their future content and marketing strategy, they needed more insight into how to address the opportunities and challenges brought by this changing viewing behaviour.

Our solution

This was a strategically important project for UKTV, and we responded with a robust multi-method approach which involved:

  • An online survey (n=1,500): detailed analysis of audience behaviour, motivations, attitudes and demographics, fueling behavioral segmentation
  • An online community (n=50, two weeks): in-depth observation and exploration of TV viewing behaviour and occasions amongst three priority segments in an online insight community
  • Six online focus groups (n=30): reflective conversations delving into the influences and motivations of TV viewing behaviour, combined with prompted discussion on UKTV channel brand content and marketing

Workshops were held at key stages throughout the project to immerse the commercial and content teams in the findings of the research and, in particular, the behaviour of their high-priority segments.

The impact

We provided a comprehensive analysis of the FTA audience, gathering up-to-date insights. These allowed UKTV to substantiate/challenge their existing knowledge, shedding new light on emergent trends and behaviour. Our practical and commercially focused recommendations allowed the commercial, content and marketing teams to immediately apply the research findings. Several months later, the research is still being used as an important reference across the business.

We’d love to showcase what our Insight Communities can do for your brand. So get in touch to request your showcase!

Online Insight Communities

Online Insight Communities

Research communities, online discussions boards, bulletin boards, insight ecosystems… what’s in a name. In this bookzine, we bring clarity by defining four different community types, each linked to a concrete research need, illustrated with best practices. 

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