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Ericsson: Massive growth in mobile video viewing

The seventh edition of Ericsson’s annual ConsumerLab TV & Media Report details an enormous and rapid shift in TV and video viewing behaviour towards mobility. The report also shows that while both mobile video and on-demand TV viewing have soared over the past seven years, content discovery remains a huge frustration for consumers.

Continued shift to mobile:

Average viewing times on mobile devices has grown by more than 200 hours a year since 2012, driving up overall TV and video viewing by an additional 1.5 hours a week. The surge in mobile viewing is offset with a decline in fixed screen viewing of 2.5 hours a week, however the appetite for TV and video is not waning.

  • Weekly share of time spent watching TV and video on mobile devices has grown by 85 per cent (2010-2016); on fixed screens it has gone down by 14 per cent over the same period
  • 40 per cent of consumers globally are ‘very interested’ in a mobile data plan that includes unrestricted video streaming
  • In the US, 20 per cent of mobile viewing is paid-for content using services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime

Content discovery – how hard can it be?

A major issue, highlighted by the report, is low consumer satisfaction when trying to find something to watch. Forty-four per cent of US consumers say they can’t find anything to watch on linear TV on a daily basis, an increase of 22 per cent compared with last year (36 per cent). In contrast, US consumers spend 45 per cent more time choosing what to watch on VoD services than linear TV.

Paradoxically, 63 per cent of consumers claim that they are very satisfied with content discovery when it comes to their VoD service, while only 51 per cent say the same for linear TV. The findings suggest that although the VoD discovery process is more time consuming than with linear broadcast TV, consumers rate it as less frustrating, as it implicitly promises the opportunity to find something they want to watch, when they want to watch it.

Popularity of on-demand services soars:

The total viewing time of on-demand content – such as streamed TV series, movies and other TV programmes – has increased 50 per cent since 2010. Strong indicators of this growing engagement and satisfaction with VoD services include:

  • Consumers continue to embrace binge watching; 37 per cent watch two or more episodes of the same show in a row on a weekly basis, more than a fifth say they do this daily
  • Consumer spending on VoD services in the US has increased by over 60 per cent since 2012, from $13 to $20 per month
  • 40 per cent of respondents say they watch YouTube daily; a substantial 10 per cent of consumers say they watch YouTube for more than three hours a day

“Based on our extensive research, we can see consumers increasingly ask for seamless access to high quality TV and video content, across services and devices,” advised Zeynep Ahmet, Senior Advisor, Ericsson ConsumerLab. “For consumers in general, and millennials in particular, being able to watch on the smartphone is key. Consumers not only want the shared, social broadcast TV experience, they also expect the flexibility of an à la carte on-demand media offering. Today’s experience is multifaceted and consumers want to create their own worlds of compelling, personalised content.”

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