“Place-shifted” TV consumption on the rise

watching-mobileNew attitudes toward TV viewing have been identified in a new report from Ericsson ConsumerLab, the fourth annual report looking at consumer trends in the TV area. Among the new findings, 72 per cent of respondents say they use mobile devices to watch video at least weekly, and 42 per cent of them do so outside the home. 75 per cent of people multi-task by using mobile devices while watching TV.

Another new trend is that people are watching one piece of content across several locations and times. Ericsson ConsumerLab calls this “place-shifted viewing.” And, 41 per cent of respondents aged 65-69 watch streamed on-demand or time-shifted video more than once a week.

Anders Erlandsson, Senior Researcher at Ericsson ConsumerLab, said: “When the TV industry began talking about mobile TV, everyone assumed it was going to consist mainly of professionally-made shorter video clips. Now, we see a really interesting twist on that story. People are indeed watching shorter video sessions, but they create the video clips themselves by pausing and resuming full-length TV shows and movies whenever it suits them.”

“We also noticed that there is a continuing re-definition of television and video among consumers. Given that 82 per cent of people use YouTube or similar services at least monthly, we had to wonder whether watching a recipe online in the kitchen counts as ‘watching TV’ or just ‘getting instructions’,” Erlandsson continued.

In fact, over half of the respondents state that their computer and Internet connection are integral parts of their TV and video consumption habits. Those tools enable viewers to pick and mix what, how, and when they watch – similar to making a selection at a restaurant.

Erlandsson continued: “The quest has begun to become the first easy to use, à la carte TV solution provider that aggregates consumer TV and video needs. Consumers rank having an à la carte TV offering as the fifth most important aspect of their viewing experience.”All varieties of watching multimedia are important, and none is emerging as a clear favourite among consumers. Erlandsson continued: “Previously, we have seen rapid growth in on-demand viewing. Now we are seeing that trend taper off somewhat, but among people aged 55-59, the growth is dramatic – with an 18 per cent increase in on-demand viewing more than weekly since 2011.

All in all, it’s not yet time to say goodbye to classic television viewing. “Linear TV still has an important role for consumers, and we don’t see any decline in frequency of usage. For example as many as 36 per cent of respondents feel that watching live sports is a very important part of their TV habits,” Erlandsson said.

The research was done in Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UK and the US. In all, 30 home interviews in four major cities and 15,000 online interviews with broadband users were conducted.

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