Digital UK monitored the public’s attitude towards and understanding of digital television switchover. i2 media was largely involved in these activities since the start of the programme. In 2006 i2 media and GfK were commissioned to conduct two pieces of essential research that focused on segmenting the UK population. The research was a consumer segmentation based on people’s propensity to adopt different digital TV equipment and services and their attitudes towards change in general and switchover in particular. The methods used and insights obtained from the research are still relevant to exploring behaviour change in other areas (e.g., adoption of smart meters and in-home displays).

Using the 11 attitudinal statements that most discriminated between adopters and non-adopters of digital television services, we conducted a cluster analysis of the survey sample.  Six clusters or segments in the UK population were identified. Each segment was associated with clear motivations and hurdles to adopting and using digital television.  

1. Cultured conservatives; 2. Out and about families; 3. Traditionalists; 4. TV centrics; 5. Rolling stones; 6. Hi-tech consumers. 

In order to predict behavioural response to new products and services, the 6 segments were plotted on 2 dimensions: positivity to TV and positivity to technology. This allowed us to see, for instance, that Cultured Conservatives tended to be driven by lower costs rather than technical improvements, which were more applicable to Hi-Tech Youths.

 i2 media also conducted a separate study designed to understand how disabled, older and isolated audiences and people on low income would be affected by the switch to digital television.  Early switchover information materials (such as versions in large print, Braille and simple language) were evaluated with their target users. Digital UK used the research to help shape Digital UK’s community outreach, and to feed into the development of Digital Switchover Help Scheme communications.

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