Streaming video has almost caught up with traditional TV viewing, at least in the number of times each week that consumers watch it, according to Ericsson’s latest edition of its annual ConsumerLab TV & Media Report.
Ericsson said 75% of the 23,000 consumers it surveyed watch streamed content several times a week; that’s just 2% less than the 77% of consumers surveyed who say they watch scheduled broadcast TV programming several times a week.
But the fifth edition of the report also found that viewers not only are changing the way they watch TV, but what they expect from the experience.
For example, 50% of viewers said they felt removing ads from the viewing experience was very important to them, and 30% said they’d be willing to pay to get rid of them.
But that doesn’t mean commercials have to go away completely; 41% of respondents to the survey of 23,000 global consumers said they’d like to specify which ads they see, or don’t have to sit through.
Personalization also applied to content, with 30% of respondents saying they’d be willing to share personal information in order to receive content tailored to them.
While pay-TV is still a stabple in many homes. The way it’s used has changed dramatically. Ericsson found that consumers saw the pay-TV offering as a buffet from which to pick and choose using DVRs programming for later viewing, creating their own version of an on-demand service.
And, as other surveys have found, the report notes a marked trend toward binging on shows.
More than half (56%) of all subscription video on demand (SVOD) users say they want to have all episodes of a show available so they can watch them at their own pace.
Non-SVOD users aren’t far behind. Ericsson said 45% of those viewers also prefer to be able to binge.
And, that’s not just episodes of older shows; 48% of all respondents said they’d like entire seasons released at once to allow for binging, a la Netflix’s House of Cards..
This shows the impact that such services have on consumer viewing behavior and requirements, said Niklas Heyman Rönnblom, Senior Advisor at Ericsson ConsumerLab. There are different ways to binge watch: some viewers do not discover a TV series until mid-season, so they will watch many episodes one after the other to catch up before the season is over. Others prefer to watch an entire season at their own pace, which means they have to wait until the entire season is available.
Mobility of content also ranked high on the list for consumers.
Despite high data prices a problem for 46% or respondent 25% more consumers are willing to pay to access content on a mobile device today than in 2012.
The results of the study are clear media companies need to rethink how they create and release content, while the focus for TV service providers is on delivering the highest possible quality for viewers, no matter what device they are watching on, said Heyman Rönnblom. The landscape is changing rapidly, and business and delivery models will have to keep up with that pace of change if they are to continue to deliver perceived value to consumers.
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