The contemporary media landscape has altered the discoverability of television content. More than half of UK households have a TV set connected to the internet and subscribe to at least one subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, multiplying the routes that people can take to find the television programmes that they want to watch.
For the television industry, this means adopting new strategies to increase the discoverability and accessibility of their content. For regulators and policymakers, this challenges existing prominence legislation that aims to ensure that public service content is easy to find. Current prominence regulations were designed for the world of linear television channels and electronic programme guides, raising the question of how accessible public service television is in the new on-demand environment.
Routes to Content sought to address these industry and regulatory problems by analysing how people discover and decide what television to watch. Over the summer of 2019 we undertook in-depth semi-structured interviews with 30 participants in their own homes, where they were asked to describe and show us how they found television content to watch.
The findings have been shared with Ofcom, the BBC and Red Bee Media.
For more information on this project, or to discuss the research findings, please contact Professor Catherine Johnson.
The project is led by Professor Catherine Johnson, working with Lauren Dempsey and Professor Matt Hills, as part of research conducted within the Centre for Participatory Culture. The research team consulted with Ofcom to shape the research direction, but the design and analysis of the research was conducted independently at the University of Huddersfield.