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The OTT TV and video business lures operators and broadcasters with an expanded audience reach, new technological capabilities and unrivaled user engagement levels. However, to succeed, TV operators have to meet such challenges like complex video delivery and an uncertain business model. And they also have to differentiate themselves from all other access methods for TV and video content.
When it comes to OTT TV – the user experience is a trump card that must be played right. SPB TV, a providers of end-to-end OTT TV solutions, believes that for a TV service to be success it is vital to closely watch your viewers. Every year SPB TV conducts online surveys among the end-users of its OTT TV and video services (including joint projects). We learn how to shape the user experience and build TV businesses by investigating the demands, interests and concerns of our viewers.
In 2015, SPB TV surveyed a sample of 60,000 respondents out of its 45 million-user base. The survey was conducted using OTT TV, OTT video and mobile TV services that SPB TV provides independently or in collaboration with its partners. The questionnaire was made available for the end-users of SPB TV’s projects through web-based and mobile interfaces.
OTT TV and video viewers actively use other types of media for information and entertainment. New media are, of course, leading; the vast majority of respondents said they use mobile Internet (71 per cent), mobile apps (66 per cent) and social networks (61 per cent) every day. As for traditional media, like radio, newspapers and magazines, – they are more often used on a weekly basis.
Video games are also relatively popular among the OTT TV audience: 26 per cent of respondents play them every day, 19 per cent – every week
Some 76 per cent of respondents watch movies and series downloaded from the web on a daily or weekly basis. This is a disturbingly. large number for the OTT industry, because it’s still not very common for OTT services to allow offline access to their video content. It is likely that some portion of this content is downloaded illegally. At the same time it shows that TV and video lovers are primarily searching for content, and only after that – for the service provided.
Since 2014, the frequency of mobile devices’ usage skyrocketed, with 44 per cent of respondents saying they watch TV or video every day on their smartphones and 25 per cent – on their tablets. The last year’s results were 25 per cent and 17 per cent respectively. TV on the go is especially popular among the youth – 81 per cent of respondents under 30 access TV or video on mobile every day.
PC usage grew steadily with the number of respondents choosing the answer ‘several times a day’ growing from 41 per cent in 2014 to 46 per cent in 2015. TV screens also showed better results with 42 per cent of respondents engaging with OTT TV and video services through Smart TVs, 37 per cent – through TVs connected via TV-boxes.
With Smart TV being a major video screen, targeting Smart TV audiences also means planning your multi-screen outreach. Generally, Smart TV owners have several other media-enabled devices in their possession and often use them for consuming video.
91 per cent of Smart TV users from the number of SPB TV respondents said that they also have smartphones and 81 per cent use them for watching video or TV channels. 90 per cent also watch TV or video on PCs or MacBooks that they own. An impressive 72 per cent of Smart TV owners have tablets, and 70 per cent use them for accessing video content. 39 per cent of those respondents who have Smart TVs also use some additional devices, like TV boxes, TV dongles, media consoles, video game consoles, set-top boxes, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, etc., which expand the functionality of their TV-sets. It means that Smart TVs don’t always ensure user satisfaction; people seek more from their TV-screen.
As for the TV boxes, 46 per cent of respondents use the devices provided to them by their TV-operators. Asked to specify what devices they use to connect their TV- sets to the internet, the respondents most often mentioned Google Chromecast (29 per cent), Apple TV (19 per cent) and, of course, video game consoles (34 per cent). This doesn’t include the TV boxes delivered by TV providers.
While choosing a device for connecting a TV to the web, people pay attention to different features and capabilities depending on the type of the device. Among those respondents that got the boxes from their TV-operators, the most frequently cited demands are ‘TV channels’ (83 per cent), ‘Movies and series’ (57 per cent) and ‘YouTube’ (37 per cent).
Those who use Apple TV with their TV-sets most often mention movies’ and series’ availability (72 per cent). Access to the TV channels and to Youtube is equally important to them (50 per cent). Google Chromecast users appreciate User-generated content (UGC) the most (69 per cent). A VOD library is, of course, very important too – 66 per cent of respondents took this factor into account while choosing the device. Only 47 per cent paid attention to TV channels’ availability through Chromecast.
In general, while selecting a TV-box of any type people mostly pay attention to the content that they will receive through it. Speaking of technological capabilities, 34 per cent of media-box owners want to have a browser available, 23 per cent want to play games on the same device and 21 per cent are interested in VoIP services.
According to SPB TV findings, TV-box owners are mainly satisfied with the devices they use. But satisfaction level differs depending on the device. Apple TV and Google Chromecast users are generally more satisfied with the service provided than those respondents that receive the boxes from their TV-operators. 46 per cent of the latter are content with the service, while 39 per cent consider changing their provider/device. Apple TV has the highest satisfaction rate with 58 per cent of users happy with their devices. They are followed by game consoles (50 per cent of content users) and Google Chromecast (47 per cent).