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Streaming overtakes live TV

News, 27 April 2015

NEW YORK: More Americans now prefer to watch streamed programming rather than live TV, according to a new survey, which also found the trend of binge-watching is gaining in popularity.

Over half (56%) of US consumers now stream movies, while 53% stream TV, as compared to 45% of consumers who prefer to watch TV programmes live.

These findings come from the latest Digital Democracy Survey by Deloitte, the professional services firm, and are based on the opinions of more than 2,000 consumers aged 14 and above.

Now in its ninth edition, the report confirmed that streaming is especially popular among younger consumers, who are watching more content on mobile devices than on a TV.

Among respondents aged 14-25, who are described as Trailing Millennials, nearly 60% of the time they spend watching movies occurs on computers, tablets and smartphones.

This is making movie viewing habits "decidedly age-dependent", the report said, although the phenomenon of binge-watching is prevalent among all age groups.

More than two-thirds (68%) of US consumers engage in binge-watching, or watching three or more programmes in one sitting, and almost a third (31%) do so at least once a week.

"Personal viewing experiences and the ability to consume media at your own pace is significantly impacting how US consumers value their content devices and services," said Gerald Belson, vice chairman, Deloitte and US Media and Entertainment sector leader.

"Today, binge-watching, and the ability to watch what we want, when we want, and where we want, is an exciting cultural phenomenon that is shifting consumer behaviours and attitudes towards curating an individual experience."

The report also found that a full 90% of consumers now multi-task while watching TV, but of particular note for advertisers, nearly 75% tend to multi-task more during TV ads.

This suggests consumers pay more attention to digital ads than they do to traditional TV ads, the report said.

Furthermore, nearly two-thirds (62%) say they would be willing to view ads during their streamed programming experience as long as they can receive discounts, such as lower subscription rates.

Data sourced from Deloitte; additional content by Warc staff