Cinema still first choice for U.K. auds

Survey reveals theater offers unique experience

LONDON -- The cinema remains the first choice for U.K. consumers to watch movies.

The popularity of watching movies on the big screen continues because it offers a unique "experience" in a society where choice and control are becoming increasingly important, according to a study published Monday by law firm Olswang and research giant YouGov.

The annual survey asked 1,162 British consumers and a series of in-depth focus groups questions about how they consume media.

DVD remains the second-most popular way to watch a film, with 53% of respondents spending at least an hour a week watching movies from prerecorded DVDs and 41% watching TV shows from DVD for at least an hour a week.

The fact that DVDs can be viewed on multiple devices is a factor in its popularity.

The survey also throws up the conundrum that, while downloads are not yet seen as an option by many because they take too long to download, the popularity of the BBC iPlayer indicates a growing appetite for online content.

Of those polled, 24% are watching at least an hour of the iPlayer a week.