September 26, 2008
Virgin Media’s On-Demand TV Tops 45 Million Views
* 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, Sept. 26, 2008 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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)
About Virgin Media
Virgin Media is an innovative and pioneering UK entertainment and communications business. As the UK's first quad-play of TV, broadband, phone and mobile, plus the most advanced TV on demand service, all delivered through its unique fibre-optic cable network, consumers can get everything they need from one company. Virgin Media launched the UK's first high definition TV service, is the only TV platform to carry BBC iPlayer, and offers a high-specification, HD-ready V+ personal video recorder. Virgin Media is one of the UK's largest residential broadband providers, the largest virtual mobile network operator and the second-largest provider of pay TV and home phone.
Virgin Media owns two content businesses -- Virgin Media Television (VMTV) and sit-up. VMTV owns seven entertainment channels -- Virgin1, Living, Living 2, Bravo, Bravo 2, Challenge and Trouble -- and is a 50% partner in UKTV which consists of nine channels including Dave, UKTV Gold and UKTV History. sit-up runs retail TV channels bid tv, price-drop tv and speed auction tv.
Virgin Media is the largest Virgin company in the world and has almost 10 million customers. To find out more visit www.virginmedia.com/presscentre.
This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire, www.globenewswire.com
CONTACT: Virgin Media Media contact Emma Hutchinson +44 (0) 20 7909 2022 [email protected] Investor relations Vani Bassi +44 (0) 20 7299 5353 [email protected] Richard Williams +44 (0) 20 7299 5479 [email protected] Tavistock Communications: John West + 44 (0) 20 7920 3150 [email protected] Lulu Bridges + 44 (0) 20 7920 3150 [email protected]