Advanced Television

CEA: Consumers viewing video via more platforms

May 15, 2012

By Colin Mann

As video consumption increases and viewing devices vary, consumers are still using televisions most often to watch video, according to the Evolving Video Landscape study released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Consumers are watching more video than they have in the past, across a variety of platforms. One-third of US adults online (34 per cent) say they watch more video content today than they did a year ago. Viewing of television video programming is up 28 per cent, with consumers citing convenience and the appeal/variety of programming as the top factors for increased viewing. Viewing of content on portable devices has also increased, with 40 per cent watching more on those devices today than a year ago.

Many consumers (66 per cent) who are watching video content on television are simultaneously using other consumer electronics (CE) devices. This behaviour is more prevalent among younger consumers, as 85 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds and 70 per cent of 25- to 34-year-olds multitask with another device while watching video on a television. US adults online report watching some type of video content an average of 3.2 hours a day, five days per week.

Televisions continue to be the most commonly used device for watching video but other devices are gaining in popularity. HDTVs are the most prevalent devices used for video viewing, used by two-thirds (66 per cent) of US adults online. Computers are also commonly used to watch video, with 62 per cent using a laptop to watch video and 55 per cent using a desktop. One-third (33 per cent) of consumers are using their smartphones to watch video content, and 17 per cent are using their tablets.

“Consumers are watching more video than they have in years past and they are seeking devices and technologies that deliver a quality video and audio experience,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist and director of research. “However, younger consumers accustomed to multitasking are defining new video behaviours as they watch video content across multiple platforms, on their own schedule, all while interacting socially on their devices with their friends.”

Televisions have also emerged as a device that can do more than just play video. Among consumers using televisions to watch video content, nearly half (47 per cent) also use their sets for other purposes. One in three (34 per cent) consumers who use a television to watch video also use their set to listen to music, and one in five (21 per cent) uses a television to listen to audio. Usage also varies by age and the type of display owned. Younger consumers, those under age 25, rely on their TVs more for music, social media, going on the Web and communicating. Consumers with Internet-enabled TVs use their displays in a number of ways as well: 47 per cent listen to music, 28 per cent use social media, 26 per cent surf the Web and 23 per cent view photos.

Future television purchases will be based on better picture quality and larger screen sizes as consumers will continue to seek the latest innovations in the market. Almost half (48 per cent) of consumers planning to purchase a TV in the next 12 months will be replacing an ageing, obsolete or broken set. However, half (51 per cent) desire improved picture quality in a new display and half (50 per cent) want a larger screen size. One in four (24 per cent) consumers with intentions to purchase a TV over the next year expect to purchase a 3DTV; 21 per cent plan to purchase an OLED display; and a quarter of consumers (25 per cent) plan to purchase an Internet-enabled TV. While stated purchase intentions do not always translate to transactions, the study clearly shows many consumers have their eyes fixed on newer TV technologies.

“Easy access to the Web makes TVs more versatile, allowing us to stay connected, informed and entertained,” said DuBravac. “In the future, new technologies, like OLED and 3D, will continue to improve the viewer experience, and Internet-enabled sets will fulfil consumers’ desires to be connected,” he predicted.

The Evolving Video Landscape Study (April 2012) was conducted between February 22 and March 2, 2012.

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