Published November 9th, 2017
According to the latest edition of Ericsson ConsumerLab and Media studies, the average time spent watching TV and video content has reached an all-time high of 30 hours a week, including active viewing of scheduled linear TV, live and on-demand Internet services, downloaded and recorded content, as well as DVD, and Blu-ray.
Ericsson found that all forms of TV and video viewing are on the rise, but how, when and where we watch content is changing. However, it noted that almost three-fifths of viewers now prefer on-demand viewing over scheduled linear TV viewing, an increase of around 50% since 2010.
Mobile viewing through tablets, smartphones and laptops, is by 2020 projected to enjoy an increase of 85% since 2010. Smartphones alone are expected to account for almost a quarter of viewing, an increase of nearly 160% over a ten-year period. Approximately 70% of consumers now watch videos on a smartphone – double the amount from 2012 – making up a fifth of total TV and video viewing. 16-19-year-olds watch the most content each week (33 hours), an increase of almost ten hours a week since 2010. However, more than half of this demographic spend their time watching content on-demand, with more than 60% of their TV and video viewing hours.
The survey showed that the average number of used on-demand services has increased from 1.6 in 2012 to 3.8 services in 2017 per person and that two-fifths of consumers already pay for on-demand TV and video services today. Nearly a third say they will increase their on-demand spending in the next six to 12 months. Portability is also becoming an increasingly important factor, with more than a third of consumers wanting access to content when abroad. The growth of on-demand viewing is set to continue to soar through to 2020 so that by then on-demand will make up almost half of total viewing.
Yet despite this growth, Ericsson cautioned that the findings also show that while consumers have more access to TV and video services than ever before, the average time spent on searching for content has increased to almost one hour per day, an increase of 13% since last year. In fact, an eighth of consumers believe that they will get lost in the vast amount of available content in the future. With the user experience becoming ever more fragmented, three-fifths of consumers now rank content discovery as ‘very important’ when subscribing to a new service, while 70% want ‘universal search for all TV and video’.
“We can see that consumers are not only watching more video but also changing how and when they do so,” said Ericsson ConsumerLab senior advisor Anders Erlandsson. “This is also shown through the continued growth of mobile viewing, which has been a booming trend since 2010.”
The 2017 ConsumerLab TV and Media report also marked the first time that Ericsson explored the level of consumer interest in virtual reality (VR) in conjunction with media consumption, and the company said that the findings have been ‘fascinating’. A third of consumers is projected to be VR users by 2020, and Ericsson notes that the technology is expected to play an essential role in the future of TV and video. Yet it warns that if consumer interest in VR is to increase, several things will need to change. Close to 55% of consumers planning to get VR devices would prefer it if the headsets were cheaper, and almost half think there should be more immersive content available. A third said that they would be more interested in VR if they could get a VR bundle from their TV and video provider.
Erlandsson added: “VR has the potential to bring together people from all over the world and create deeper, more personalised, and more complementary media experiences. As consumer expectations for on-demand, mobile and immersive viewing continues to increase, the TV and media industry must focus on delivering highly personalised services in the very best possible quality available.”
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Jan 22, 2019
There will be more than 777 million global SVOD subscriptions by 2023, more than double from 2017 according to Ooyala’s new State of the Broadcast Industry 2019 report, which also found that the momentum only stands to increase.
The report – which draws on Ooyala’s own data and analysis as well as research conducted by other organizations – also underscores that viewers of all ages are increasingly adopting streaming services as their primary source of TV content. While Boomers and the Silent Generation (those born before World War II) remain the lifeblood of traditional broadcasters, they too are increasingly adopting over-the-top (OTT) and video on demand (VOD) platforms.
2018 was a year of significant change in the broadcast industry. There was a surge in M&A activity, an increase in the amount of time consumers spent with SVOD and AVOD content and a significant decline in pay-TV subscribers in North America as viewers changed how they watch TV… OTT jumped into the mainstream. There’s even more change in the cards for 2019.
Among US adults 50-64, OTT viewing increased 45% between 2016 and 2017; among US adults 65+, viewing was up 36%.
The report also postulated that mobile platforms will be a significant factor in OTT consumption in the future, given that estimates say video could make up as much as 90% of all 5G traffic.
“For OTT, that means faster and smoother delivery of video, no buffering, higher resolution, and a better, more engaging experience for users; for AVOD companies specifically, it will foster the collection of better, deeper data that could be used to better personalize advertising,” said the report.
The lesson for traditional broadcasters, the report noted, is to adopt the mindset of a diversified media company – as more programmers and distributors are joining, rather than fighting, the push into OTT.
“Subscription and ad-supported OTT services are steadily replacing traditional content delivery, and there’s no end to the opportunity to create connections with a global audience,” said Ooyala principal analyst Jim O'Neill. “OTT is not traditional TV. It thrives upon consumer choice, often random interaction, and the convenience of viewing when, where and on what device a consumer chooses. It thrives upon its own ability to iterate in order to respond to the changing conditions of the new TV environment.”
Meanwhile, as mobile viewing soars, it turns out that screen size still matters to the majority of consumers. A full 40% of US consumers who replaced a TV between October 2016 and October 2018 said they wanted to purchase a bigger screen, per The NPD Group. And consumers are going all-in on 4K UHD, driven largely by SVOD services, like Netflix, and the promise of 4K and UHD content from major sporting events, like the Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.
“Content owners have seen a massive increase in the demand for their products,” continued O'Neill. “That will continue as OTT services push out across the globe and original content maintains — and grows — its value. It’s becoming increasingly important for media companies – both big and small – to closely monitor and control the content supply chain.”
New OTT Services Aren’t Saturating the Market, they ARE the Market
Is the influx of new OTT services creating saturation in the market? Not by a long shot. While there’s likely a limit as to how many SVOD services users really are ready to pay for, that upper limit hasn’t yet been reached. And, as we see more channels become available a la carte, that limit may continue to rise, especially as younger consumers — who see streaming as the norm — grow older.