Consumers in the US and UK are changing the way they view TV and video content by increasingly taking control of how, when, and where they view it, according to a new survey released by Accenture.
About half (49 per cent) of consumers surveyed in Accenture’s Pulse of Media Consumer Survey are viewing OTT video through a broadband connection on their TVs (50 per cent in the US and 48 per cent in the UK) in addition to the content they traditionally watch via cable or satellite.
Consumers are also viewing content on mobile devices, creating video playlists, posting videos on social media, and learning about new TV programmes and video offerings through social networks, according to the survey.
“We are seeing a seismic shift in consumer viewing habits,” said Robin Murdoch, a managing director in Accenture’s Media & Entertainment industry group. “The connected consumer is now comfortable viewing TV shows and video on a variety of screens, as well as sharing opinions of that content via social channels or recommendation engines.”
Not surprisingly, the survey found younger viewers are leading the way in using these new technologies to view video content.
In the US, 82 per cent of consumers between the ages of 18 and 24 watch some OTT video, with 60 per cent watching at least a quarter of their video over-the-top (compared to 32 per cent of US consumers overall). In the UK, 75 per cent of consumers in that age group watch some OTT, with 54 per cent watching at least 25 per cent (compared with 28 per cent of overall consumers) in this manner.
Younger consumers are also more likely to discover new content through social networks as opposed to learning about it through commercials or programming guides. The survey showed that 35 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds are interested in social newsfeeds of videos that friends have watched compared with 11 per cent of consumers age 45 and older.
Today, 49 per cent of consumers across the board subscribe to a range of video delivery services, indicating OTT video consumption has grown at an astonishing rate since last measured by Accenture in March 2011 at 8 per cent. We are now seeing subscription and access levels similar to satellite among the online group surveyed. In the US, 27 per cent of those surveyed subscribe to OTT services, such as Netflix Instant Streaming, compared with 28 per cent to satellite. In the UK, 26 per cent of those surveyed subscribe to or access OTT services like Netflix, LoveFilm, or BBC’s iPlayer on TV services, or Sky Go / Now TV from Sky, compared with 30 per cent to satellite.
Sixteen per cent of US consumers (9 per cent in the UK) subscribe to gaming console-based video delivery services, and 4 per cent (3 per cent in the UK) subscribe to set-top subscription services such as Apple TV, Boxee or Google TV.
Consumers are also diversifying their viewing habits. Television remains the primary device for watching full-length shows, and PCs and laptops are the dominant device for short video clips. However, consumers are also using mobile devices such as smartphones to:
– watch short videos and clips (24 per cent);
– watch user-generated content (15 per cent);
– watch live content (6 per cent); and,
– watch full-length movies and TV (4 per cent of respondents).
Many consumers share videos on social networks, the survey shows. Based on a weighted average, respondents who use social media had, on average, over 3 friends who posted videos at least once per day (3.6 in the US and 2.8 in the UK) Thirty-eight per cent of respondents had posted, or re-posted, video online via social media. Most often this involved consumers sharing videos posted by friends (51 per cent overall), reinforcing the viral nature of video-sharing online. A smaller but significant proportion (25 per cent), sought out videos to post on social media based on content they had seen on TV.
The survey also probed consumers’ willingness to pay for content and found that more than one-third (36 per cent) would be willing to pay to see a favorite show continue. Of that group, 18 per cent indicated they would pay $25/£10 or more, and half (50 per cent) would pay $1-$4/£1-£4. Younger consumers were more willing to contribute to the cause with nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of 18-24 year-olds in the US and more than half (54 per cent) of the respondents in the UK
“The new media landscape has enabled curating, consuming, and commenting on TV and video content to become a simple, seamless experience,” said Murdoch. “With youth leading the movement, we anticipate that these trends will intensify in the coming years.”