As venues for viewing programs proliferate, consumers are changing not just their habits, but also their preferences. A new report from research firm TDG finds that the expanding number of viewing choices may result in consumers shifting away from picking live TV now as their top selection.
The research firm studied consumer preferences among the following content sources – live broadcast, DVR-recorded, on-demand, and online shows, as well as physical discs such as DVD or Blu-ray to identify five different consumer segments. While the largest viewer base remains in the linear viewing modes, the growth is occurring in the various on-demand behaviors, TDG said.
“It is the two most advanced segments, Broadcast Castoffs and New Video Enthusiasts, which have seen the greatest growth in the last few years,” said Michael Greeson, analyst with TDG. “Going forward, I'd place my money on New Video Enthusiasts—those that still use broadcast but prefer new video sources and technologies.”
TDG broke down viewer segments, including so-called “Black-Box Baulkers,” comprising 26% of adult viewers. They prefer live broadcast and on-demand content, and avoid adding new TV boxes for over-the-top viewing. “They have little interest in DVRs, DVD/Blu-ray players or game consoles, much less Internet set-top boxes. One unique property of this segment is that 100% subscribe to a cable-like PayTV service, with some 83% preferring this source as their first choice of TV content,” the report said.
TV traditionalists, at 26% of adult viewers, favor live broadcast and discs but are unlikely to use on-demand or DVRs. However, this group is increasingly interested in Internet video and spends about four hours per week watching it. “Generally, they spend this time watching video on social networking websites or catching-up on broadcast TV shows on free sites,” Greeson said.
Then there are DVR Devotees, about 34% of adult viewers, who prefer to view most TV content on a recorded basis.
The newer segments are broadcast castoffs, weighing in at 7% of adult viewers. They prefer DVR-recorded shows and online video. “This segment is defined by its lack of interest in broadcast or cable content; which is manifest by less than average availability of broadcast (only 72% report using live broadcast TV),” the report said. They tend to be young males who are single, well educated, and have annual household incomes of more than $100,000.
The final group is the new video enthusiasts, about 7% of adult viewers. They like online video, on-demand TV and DVR-recorded shows. New Video Enthusiasts tend to be the youngest of the segments and more likely to have higher annual household incomes.