Thursday, 03 September 2015 20:22

‘Binge viewing’ with massive consumer shift to on-demand services Featured


Bingeing on multiple TV episodes one after the other is prevalent amongst Video-on-Demand subscribers, as consumers flock to VOD services in droves, according to a new global market report.

In its latest TV & Media report on the VOD market, Ericsson ConsumerLab says that  consumers are not only embracing VOD services “like never before”,  but subscribers of services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO are “bingeing” by watching multiple TV episodes in a row.

In fact, the research reveals that 87% of users of services like Netflix are binge-viewing at least once a week.

Ericsson also says that of the 22,500 consumers surveyed across 20 markets, every third viewing hour is now spent watching on-demand TV and video.

The report also reveals a 71% increase in watching video on smartphones since 2012, with nearly two thirds of teenagers' total TV and video viewing time spent on a mobile device.

Viewing user-generated content is also on the rise, with almost one in 10 watching YouTube for more than three hours per day.

Ericsson says the research shows that Video-on-Demand (VOD) services are succeeding in meeting consumer needs, allowing consumers to change their viewing habits.

Consumers now spend six hours per week watching streamed on-demand TV series, programs, and movies - more than doubling since 2011 – and, with recorded and downloaded content added to the equation, today 35% of all TV and video viewing is spent watching VOD.

There’s also been considerable growth in consumers watching video on a mobile device, with 61% watching on their smartphones today, which is an increase of 71% since 2012.

Research also reveals that when taking tablets, laptops, and smartphones into consideration, nearly two thirds of time spent by teenagers' watching TV and video is on a mobile device.

At the same time, user-generated content (UGC) platforms account for a growing share of consumers' TV and video viewing, with close to 1 in 10 consumers watch YouTube for more than three hours per day, and one in three now considering it very important to be able to watch UGC on their TV at home.

According to the study, the increasing prominence of UGC-rich platforms, like YouTube, has 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, Ericsson ConsumerLab, says the continued rise of streamed video on demand and UGC services reflects the importance of three specific factors to today's viewers - 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.”

Other findings by Ericsson include:

•    The difficulty of finding content: Half of consumers watching linear TV say they can't find anything to watch on a daily basis. Consumers feel that recommendation features are simply not smart or personal enough

•    Different bundles, different attitudes: 22% of consumers who have never had a pay-TV subscription are already paying for over-the-top (OTT) content services, and

•    Linear TV remains key: The popularity of linear TV remains high, mainly due to the access it gives to premium viewing and live content, like sports, as well as its social value. In this respect, linear TV often acts as a 'household campfire'.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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