Advanced Television

Strong interest in connected content experiences

November 22, 2011

By Colin Mann

An anticipated surge in the household penetration of next-generation Internet-connected devices indicates solid consumer interest in new content to experience on these devices, according to a new study – Connected Devices and Services: Reinventing Content – presented by global consulting firm Bain & Company at the Forum d’Avignon event, which brought together players from the worlds of culture, the creative industries, the economy and the media.

The study finds however that while consumers are inclined to increase their adoption of online content for video consumption, video games, live entertainment and cultural activities, media companies and cultural institutions face stiff competition for incremental consumer spending unless new business models and “ambitious content” are created.

Bain’s survey of 3,000 consumers in France, the United Kingdom, the United States, China and India suggests that a high degree of consumer enthusiasm may have limited incremental profit potential for businesses unless new innovative ways for experiencing content are developed.

“The permanent media revolution continues,” said Patrick Behar, head of Bain’s Media & Entertainment Practice in Europe and lead author of the study. “But media and entertainment companies must pursue aggressive content development and diversification strategies to unlock new consumer spending.”

Bain finds that the biggest shift in the connected content experience will come in video. Half of respondents in the US and UK intend to rely more on search engines to find content, while one-third plan to use their network of friends to choose their favourite ‘must see TV’. The latter figure jumps to 45 per cent for consumers in India and China, although lack of infrastructure will limit the ability of many to view video on connected devices, particularly in India. Fictional programming also lends itself particularly well to such a transition according to the survey, and our increasing connectedness with the Internet could also accelerate the development of short formats born on the web. Both amateur and professional webisodes have attracted sizeable, albeit still limited, audiences online. Thirty to 45 per cent of those surveyed in Western markets expressed interest in such formats on connected devices, though nearly two-thirds are not willing to pay. In contrast, approximately three-quarters of those surveyed in India and China expressed interest in webisodes.

“A majority of consumers expressed an interest in Internet video at the expense of traditional TV channels” said Laurent Colombani, head of Bain’s Media & Entertainment Practice in France and co-author of the study.

Video games are fertile ground for creating innovative content experiences. Forty per cent of those surveyed in Western markets use a connected console or terminal and more than 60 per cent of the occasional players surveyed said that they were likely to increase their game playing. Yet a generation gap will remain amongst gamerswhile 60 per cent of those under age 35 see themselves playing more on connected devices, fewer than 25 per cent of those older than 55 agree.

Significant change lies ahead for the media and entertainment industry as content platforms, new entrants, and incumbents battle for profits and market share,” concluded Behar.

Categories: Articles, Connected TV, Consumer Behaviour, Content, OTT, Production, Research