More People Worldwide Watch More Channels on More Devices

According to findings from the Accenture second annual Global Broadcast Consumer Survey,  television viewership has grown since last year, with 40% of viewers watching six or more television channels vs. 35% in 2008, and 39% watching eight or more television programs per week vs. 33% last year. Respondents who said they would also enjoy viewing content on other devices increased over the last year, with 13-point increases in the number who would watch content on personal computers (74% in 2009 vs. 61% in 2008) and on mobile devices (45% in 2009 vs. 32% in 2008).

The survey of nearly 14,000 consumers across 13 countries found that:

  • While fragmentation of the audience viewing traditional television formats is continuing, the consumption of broadcast content on all platforms, including traditional television, is growing
  • Opportunities abound in new media in emerging markets
  • Consumers indicate a willingness to pay, favoring subscription services

One of the survey's more striking discoveries, says the report, is the big difference in behaviors of consumers in less-developed markets versus those in more-developed markets. Respondents in Mexico, Brazil and Malaysia were nearly three times as likely as those in United States, Germany and the United Kingdom to express interest in watching television content on mobile phones, ranging from 65-71% of respondents in these three less-developed countries but only from 22-26% for those in the more-developed countries.

The survey also revealed that, in every age group, consumers are more decisive about their viewing preferences, particularly in mature content marketplaces like Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom. This change indicates that consumers are quickly forming opinions on how they feel about content and how and where it's viewed.

David Wolf, a senior executive with Accenture's Media & Entertainment practice, concludes that "Consumers are making choices based on what they've tried, liked and rejected and are now selecting content and its delivery platforms... the modes of consumption that provide an alternative to the traditional TV experience are becoming part of everyday life... "

Despite more alternatives like the Internet and on-screen program guides, 40% of consumers use commercials to find content they would like to watch, 33% channel surf, 30% look to recommendations from friends and family, and 28% to TV listings.

And, even with the downturn in the global economy, 49% of consumers are willing to pay for digital service programming, up from 37% in last year's survey, and 40% said they would prefer to watch ads in exchange for free content.

Among those willing to pay for content:

  • Subscription models beat pay-to-play models in every age group, with paying a fee for unlimited programming (selected by 25% of respondents) proving much more popular than pay-per-episode or pay-per-season (12% and 9%, respectively) fee structures
  • Younger consumers are more willing to pay for content than older consumers (60% for respondents younger than 25 versus 38% for those 55 and older)
  • Youth are also more willing to watch ads and pay nothing than are those over 55 (45% versus 37%) 
  • Subscription service content appears the most resilient to the economy, as its consumption shows no signs of being hit by a drop-off in consumer spending

According to the survey, the biggest net revenue loss (vs. last year) will be in DVD sales, down 6 percentage points, followed by on demand video, down 5 percentage points, and downloading content to a mobile phone or PC, 3 percentage points down. Subscription content showed no change, with the number of respondents saying they would spend less, equal to the number who would spend more.

More information on Accenture's Global Broadcast Consumer Survey can be found here.



1 comment about "More People Worldwide Watch More Channels on More Devices".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Carol Williams from Media Dynamics Inc, May 7, 2009 at 8:19 a.m.

    Studies that ask people to describe their TV viewing as opposed to more precise electronic tracking systems such as Nielsen's meters, frequently produce very different results. When you ask a person to estimate how much time he or she spends with TV you frequently get a 25% understatement relative to a "peoplemeter" measurement. And people often forget incidental exposures when asked about the programs or channels they watch. So, the fact that respondents claimed more programs and channels viewed in this study compared to another conducted earlier, does not necessarily mean that people are watching more TV. It's true that, as TV viewing continues to fragment, people are being exposed to more channels and program sources, however there is only so much time one can spend on television in its totality. Therefore more channels viewed usually means less time spent per channel.

Next story loading loading..