Advanced Television

TV Everywhere audiences on the rise

February 27, 2013

A new era of television consumption is being ushered in across Central Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) according to a report by Discovery Networks, which also suggests that supercharged by the digital age, audiences led by the young and early adopters are showing an increasing appetite for new TV services that complement existing viewing behaviours.

Multi-screen living across technology platforms is becoming increasingly commonplace, whilst there is a growing appetite for off-schedule viewing via catch-up TV services. At the same time, there is a rising demand for short-form content that allows viewers to ‘snack’ between bigger TV ‘meals’. ‘Social TV’ has been identified as a growing phenomenon but viewers remain cautious over their privacy.

The report – The Rise of the Television Everywhere Audience – in co-operation with The Future Foundation, surveyed 5,000 TV viewers across 10 CEEMEA markets: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine and UAE in addition to in-depth interviews with an expert, industry panel. It explores how television is adapting, evolving and growing to accommodate entirely new viewing behaviours in an increasingly connected, time-precious, fragmented world.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for the TV industry and viewers who are relishing the greater freedom they have to access and interact with content across multi-screens and social media. This study shows people are watching more linear TV than ever before and how traditional TV viewing is being supplemented and enriched with new audience behaviours across CEEMEA markets,” said Caleb Weinstein, SVP and GM Distribution, Discovery Networks EMEA.

Live online TV viewing is now commonplace in eight of the 10 markets surveyed

  • Across CEEMEA, 52 per cent have watched live television online in the last six months. The proportion is highest in Romania with 64 per cent and lowest in Hungary at 27 per cent

TV on demand viewing (at 40 per cent) is less common except for the young and early adopters

  • UAE leads the way in catch-up TV viewing with 55 per cent having watched catch-up TV online in the last six months followed by Russia with 52 per cent
  • 51 per cent in Czech Republic aged 18-30 have watched TV on demand online, against 24 per cent aged 45+. In South Africa, 43 per cent against 18 per cent

Second screening is in its early stages though penetration of new technologies is rising fast

  • In Turkey, 21 per cent and 15 per cent of smartphone owners have used the device to watch live TV and TV on demand respectively ahead of the CEEMEA averages of 12 per cent and 11 per cent
  • The Middle East are ahead of Central and Eastern Europe with around a third of tablet owners in Turkey (34 per cent) having watched live TV on their tablets and 28 per cent in the UAE against the CEEMEA average of 25 per cent

The second screen is increasingly being used to enhance the enjoyment of TV

  • Over two thirds (68 per cent) look up information online about a programme while watching it
  • Whilst 34 per cent talk about programmes they are watching online via social networking sites
  • New viewer typologies have emerged because of the second screen: the Tourist who flits between a wider variety of programmes than they used to (56 per cent say they do) and the Enthusiast who access extra content online (64 per cent do so now or would consider doing so)

There is a growing appetite to be able to watch TV content anywhere, anytime

  • 72 per cent would prefer to watch TV when they want rather than when the schedule dictates
  • 61 per cent in South Africa are interested in accessing TV content wherever they are with 55 per cent in Bulgaria and Ukraine
  • While only 27 per cent of Hungarians are interested, this rises to 53 per cent among early adopters

An emerging market for bite sized content for the second screen that ties in to long-form

  • In eight out of 10 countries, a majority say they have watched or would consider watching TV clips of their favourite shows on their mobile phones
  • 51 per cent of Romanian early adopters have watched TV clips of their favourite shows on their mobile. Only 10 per cent would not consider doing this. In Poland, 43 per cent and 11 per cent

Viewers need more help to find programmes as a result of increasing choice fuelled by on-demand

  • Over half of viewers in nine out of ten counties surveyed say they find it difficult to choose a programme to watch. This feeling is strongest in Czech Republic (67 per cent)
  • 51 per cent are interested in a service that recommends TV shows based on preferences and viewing history
  • There is strongest support for this in South Africa with 67 per cent and Romania with 62 per cent

Despite the explosion of social media, expert sources remain strong in viewing decisions

  • Only a minority of viewers would be interested in a service that allows you to see what your friends are watching
  • Even among early adopters it is only in Turkey and Russia where this kind of service garners the support of over a third

We’re seeing an increasing trend towards watching live TV online, using catch-up services, viewing on second screens and interaction with content and friends using social media. At the centre of the viewer experience stands great content with a clear opportunity to reach a larger audience with an increased frequency through continued innovation across both programming and distribution, Weinstein added


Categories: Articles, Catch Up, Connected TV, Consumer Behaviour, Mobile, OTT, Portable Media, Research, VOD