Research: Dramatic shift in traditional TV viewing experience

Consumer hunger for social media connectivity and demand for ‘anytime, anywhere’ entertainment is driving the most dramatic industry convergence in the past 20 years and radically shifting the traditional TV viewing experience, according to a global study released today by Motorola Mobility.

The aim of the study was to develop both a global and regional understanding of what video content was coming into homes and how it was being consumed, how viewing habits were evolving with the advent of new technologies such as social media and the trends service providers should seek to support both now and in the future.

Key trends from the 2011 Motorola Mobility Media Engagement Barometer are:

  • Online engagement and social TV, mobile TV, personal cloud services, and home automation are redefining the home ecosystem
  • Digital entertainment and social media enhance the traditional TV experience – consumers are hungry for content and connection
  • New forms of entertainment and connected services create additional revenue streams and opportunities to strengthen customer relationship

Motorola Mobility’s 2011 Media Engagement Barometer – an independent global study of video consumption habits among 9,000 consumers in 16 markets – shows several major themes redefining the home ecosystem and consumer entertainment experience. This year’s study found that consumers expressed a deep hunger for mobile TV, social TV, connected home and personal cloud services. Individually, each of these categories offers service providers significant opportunities to expand value-added services, improve customer loyalty and tap into new revenue streams.

“Consumers are constantly connected – and they want ubiquitous access to their content and communities,” said John Burke, senior vice president and general manager, Converged Experiences, Motorola Mobility. “They don’t care about the technology to make all of this happen; they simply want it to work and expect it to fit into their daily routines. The convergence trend upon us is a tremendous opportunity for our customers to capitalise on delivering this simple, intuitive experience in the home.”

The study finds that TV consumption remains steady, with consumers’ desire for constant connection influencing TV and video consumption, which accounts for an average of 15 hours per week worldwide. Germans now watch an average of 18 hours a week of TV and video compared to 14 hours (TV and video) in 2010. US respondents now watch 21 hours of TV per week – two hours more than in 2010.

On-demand TV courtesy of the consumer’s DVR is shifting how and when consumers watch their favourite programmes. This year, three times as many US consumers are watching on-demand TV – 18 per cent in 2011 compared to five per cent last year. The UK had a similar increase with 15 per cent of consumers watching on-demand TV in 2011 compared to eight per cent in 2010.

Service providers may seek to leverage this trend by offering improved real-time experiences at the original airing of the show. Deeper engagement with the programming via an integrated social TV element can provide viewers an incentivised reason to watch the initial programme airing and engage with other fans immediately.

Motorola Mobility suggests that online engagement and Social TV present strong opportunities. With an average of 12 hours spent online per week and another six hours dedicated to social media, online engagement continues to be a mainstay in the consumer’s weekly routine. Additionally, social TV is already a big trend, with more than half (61 per cent) of global respondents saying that they have already discussed a TV programme with friends via a social network. The trend is expected to continue – an additional 49 per cent said they would be interested in this type of service – and represents a huge opportunity to service providers worldwide.

Additional global online engagement and social TV findings include:

  • A preference for accessing a social TV service using a PC, smartphone or tablet (43 per cent) instead of the television set using an on-screen menu (40 per cent).
  • Using social networks to comment on the programme is the preferred social TV service for 89 per cent of respondents in Germany, 87 per cent in the US and 60 per cent in South Korea.
  • Respondents in Russia (55 per cent) and the US (34 per cent) said they would prefer a social TV service that links through to sites to buy products featured on the programme, while only 23 per cent of respondents in Germany preferred this type of service.
  • People worldwide preferred a service that allows them to video chat with family and friends; support for this feature was especially high in China at 58 per cent of respondents interested this type of service, compared to 37 per cent of U.S. respondents and only 19 per cent in the UK.

According to the study, mobile TV has truly taken off in the past year – more than a third (37 per cent) of global respondents claim to watch TV services outside the home on a smartphone, tablet, PC or laptop.

  • The 2011 research discovered a nearly five-fold increase from 2010 in US TV viewing taking place on smartphones – 23 per cent are currently watching mobile TV on their smartphones.
  • Comparatively, 46 per cent of Japanese respondents report they have watched mobile TV on their smartphones in 2011.
  • Germany (22 per cent), UAE (20 per cent), and Mexico and Singapore (both 19 per cent) are also big mobile TV fans, while Argentina had only 7 per cent of consumers watching mobile TV less than once a week.
  • Finally, more than a quarter (27 per cent) of the global consumers aged between 25-34 years watch mobile TV on a mobile device once or twice a week, as do just over a third (34 per cent) of consumers in the 45-54 age group and (33 per cent) of respondents in the 55+ age group.

Motorola’s study,found that 52 per cent of US consumers were interested in a service that enabled access to their personal data (such as videos, photos and other information) on any device, from anywhere in the world.

  • In 2011, 41 per cent of global respondents said they would be interested in a personal cloud type of service, but would need to be convinced of its value.
  • These findings were particularly true among respondents in Singapore (50 per cent), South Korea (49 per cent), UAE (39 per cent) and the US (37 per cent).
  • China (38 per cent), Mexico and Turkey (both 35 per cent) were the most interested in this type of service, compared to seven per cent of German respondents.

 

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