Research: Consumer appetite for innovation in TV services

British TV and film viewers are hungry for change to the traditional TV status quo, frustrated by a lack of accessibility to content, according to a UK-wide survey exploring changing consumer attitudes and behaviours to TV and video. The survey was conducted by media management specialist Red Bee Media, and is a part of the company’s ‘Tomorrow Calling’ programme, which aims to build a picture of the media world in 2020, its technological possibilities and market dynamics, through a series of think tanks, quantitative and qualitative research, one-to-one interviews, live panel debates and white papers.

Among the key findings:

  • While the majority of UK consumers expect to watch the same or more live TV in the future, an overwhelming three quarters (74 per cent) claim that they can’t find anything to watch on live TV on a weekly basis, as a result of confusion caused by the continued proliferation of content, platforms and devices.
  • 71 per cent want the freedom to choose what they want to watch, when they want to watch it.
  • 45 per cent want access to all back episodes of their favourite programmes.
  • 39 per cent want catch up to be available for longer, such as six months.
  • 34 per cent are interested in having multi-room wireless access to content on any screen (rising to 42 per cent among 16-24 year-olds).
  • 33 per cent want the whole live TV schedule available on catch up.
  • More than a fifth (21 per cent) are frustrated when they can’t access a UK programme while abroad.
  • More than half of UK consumers think that content should be released at the same time all over the world (57 per cent for films, 56 per cent for TV).
  • In fact, 46 per cent of respondents thought that illegal downloads would be greatly reduced if it was possible to pay to watch new TV series from other countries without having to wait for a UK release date.
  • UK consumers are clearly prepared to pay for content; they just want more control over what they are buying. 63 per cent think they will spend the same on TV in the future, and 20 per cent think they’ll spend more.
  • Today’s pay-TV platform providers may face significant competition from OTT providers: nearly a third (31 per cent) of consumers would be interested in new content packages via Internet-connected TV, if they could choose only to receive their favourite channels, without having to pay for other channels that they don’t watch.
  • A third (33 per cent) of pay TV subscribers in the UK would consider downgrading or cancelling their subscriptions if there was a cheaper solution to receiving movies; another 33 per cent would do the same if they could watch TV without advertising.
  • Channel brands will continue to play an important role. However, as many as 39 per cent of UK consumers think that there may be some technology and film brands that can do a BETTER job than existing TV channels.

“Viewers are more engaged with TV and movies than ever before and it is clear that our industry will continue to experience an unprecedented level of change. The results show that viewers are increasingly savvy about what they watch and how and when they watch it and they are ever more cynical about current offers when their preference is for a more immediate, selective and flexible experience”, said Bill Patrizio, CEO, Red Bee Media. “This research provokes us to listen closely to what tomorrow’s consumer has to say and ask ourselves whether or not their expectations are driving our industry’s innovation agenda.”

 

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