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Consumers of all ages are going over-the-top: Results from the consumer usage survey.
The amazing growth of broadband is shaking up how people around the world watch TV and, in general, how they consume all types of video content across all types of devices. It’s also shaking up business models and entire industries, as Web-enabled platforms drive a rapid uptake of digital video services.
In this environment of overwhelming market potential, it’s more important than ever for all the players in this market space-broadcasters, content providers, network operators and other communications companies—to have a better understanding of changing consumer behaviors and interests, so they can direct their investments properly.
To give companies deeper insights into their target customers as they launch or extend broadband TV and video capabilities, Accenture conducted a global online survey of more than 6,500 consumers around the world across major geographies (United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Italy and Spain).
The era of Internet is here, and it’s influencing the viewing behaviors of more than just younger generations. According to Accenture’s research, more than three-quarters of consumers of all ages in major geographies around the world are now watching video content over the Internet via a PC or TV.
Of course, the fact that 85 percent of people ages 18 to 24 are Internet video consumers is hardly surprising. But even among consumers over the age of 65, two-thirds of survey respondents are joining the Internet video movement. And 82 percent in one of the most important demographics to advertisers (ages 35 to 44) are now accessing and interacting with video over desktops, laptops, Internet-connected TVs and mobile devices.
These are numbers that cannot be ignored. Consumption of video over the Internet is now more than a millennial-generation phenomenon; it is an activity that crosses all ages. Video over the Internet is on its way to becoming the new mass media. Although considerable challenges lie ahead for broadcasters, telcos and other companies looking to optimally position themselves within the Internet video ecosystem, it is clear that consumers are ready—and in some instances may even be ahead of providers—in terms of their vision of how, when and where they watch and interact with video content in the digital age.
The 2011 Accenture Video-Over-Internet Consumer Usage Survey results give companies a look not only at current trends, but also at where those trends are leading, in terms of both video viewing habits and where revenue growth is most likely to occur:
Although the television still dominates consumers’ viewing preferences (at 92 percent), the diversity of electronic devices that consumers use to view video is evenly divided: 75 percent of respondents use a desktop computer, 72 percent use a laptop and 63 percent use mobile devices to access content. These results suggest a ‘form factor’ challenge when it comes to mobile video viewing. With broad access to video across devices with large screens, mobile video viewing will rarely be the first choice among many consumers.
Watching video on non-traditional devices is trending upward. In the past year, viewing increased on laptops (35 percent), desktops (28 percent) and Internet-enabled TVs (26 percent). These trends were seen across all age groups. Growth percentages for most devices were nearly identical for the 25-to-34 year old and 18-to-24 year old age groups.
The myriad of content delivery choices available in the digital world has also changed the nature of the entire viewing experience, including traditional TV watching. There is no longer a single delivery channel or device that receives the uninterrupted attention of viewers. Of those surveyed, 81 percent said they multi-task with other devices while watching TV. Nearly half (48 percent) use a laptop while watching, 41 percent use a mobile device and 28 percent use a desktop computer.
When it comes to choosing their favorite Internet/broadband TV features and functions, the largest number of respondents (40 percent) pointed to catch-up TV, which enables them to watch content that they may have missed. Only 14 percent of respondents wish to surf the Web on their televisions and only 11 percent desire interactive and social networking functionality.
Although consumers are viewing video on multiple devices, quality rules the day when they consider selecting new services. 48 percent identified clarity of picture and speed of content delivery as the most important technical features they look for in an Internet video service. This proportion was statistically consistent across all age groups. High-definition viewing was a distant second, at 27 percent.
The survey findings point to several key considerations for companies in the Internet video marketplace:
Providers will need to focus even more on video content created specifically for the small screens of mobile phones
Companies have an opportunity to capitalize on consumers’ fragmented, multi-tasking viewing preferences and gain even more viewer awareness and loyalty by reinforcing messages or content across devices
Given consumer concerns about quality as well as current frustrations with the time required to buffer, download and play a video, providers will need to find a way to handle congestion on the network and ensure a high-quality experience when it comes to video streaming
Consumers are indicating that they are ready for a true multi-device experience–one that goes beyond simply replicating traditional TV on another device to creating a new experience where content is important, quality is critical and personalization of the service is a must
April 11, 2011
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