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Third of all viewing is on demand

News, 04 September 2015

GLOBAL: Just over one third of all TV and video viewing time now takes place on demand, according to a new study which also highlights consumer dissatisfaction with recommendation features.

The Ericsson ConsumerLab TV & Media Report was based on interviews with more than 22,500 people across 20 markets, all of whom had a broadband internet connection at home and watched TV/video at least once a week.

This found that consumers now spend six hours per week watching streamed on-demand TV series, programs, and movies, a figure that has more than doubled from the 2.9 hours of such viewing in 2011.

When recorded and downloaded content is added to the equation, 35% of all TV and video viewing is now spent watching VOD, the report said.

Watching multiple TV episodes in a row has rapidly become a key part of the TV and video experience, with this habit especially noticeable among users of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO: 87% reported binge-viewing at least once a week.

The rise of VOD and binge-viewing appears to be linked to difficulties finding content, so that when people do find something they like they can go back to it whenever they want or watch several episodes at once.

Half of consumers watching linear TV said they couldn't find anything to watch on a daily basis and there was a feeling that current recommendation features were not smart or personal enough.

Another noteworthy finding was the rise in viewing of user-generated content (UGC), with one in three now considering it very important to be able to watch such content on TV at home.

The existence of UGC-rich platforms like YouTube has also resulted in a popularity boost for educational and instructional videos, with consumers watching an average 73 minutes of these videos per week.

Anders Erlandsson, senior advisor at Ericsson ConsumerLab, pointed to three factors in the rise of VOD and UGC services: great content, flexibility and a high-quality overall experience.

"Innovative business models that support these three areas are now crucial to creating TV and video offerings that are both relevant and attractive," he said.

Data sourced from Ericsson; additional content by Warc staff