Global TV Stats Down, But U.S. Viewing On The Rise


A sweeping new report from Swedish tech firm Ericsson that studied viewing habits across 13 developed countries found that fewer people are tuning in to watch regularly scheduled TV, recorded programs and DVDs, while on-demand content from the Web -- including TV shows, movies and clips -- is rising steadily.

By contrast, according to Nielsen, TV viewing in the U.S. is growing from all sources -- including traditional TV, where audiences tuned in an average 22 minutes more per month in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period a year ago.

The Ericsson report, part of an annual trend study the company has conducted since 2004 via its ConsumerLab unit, was based on a survey of 13,000 respondents from June to August.

In six of the countries surveyed -- the U.S., Sweden, Germany, Spain, UK and Taiwan -- the report found that a combined 84% of this year's respondents indicated that they watched scheduled broadcast TV more than once a week. By comparison, 88% of the respondents in last year's survey said they watched more than once a week, indicating a year-to-year four-percentage-point decline.



Among the same group, there was also a year-to-year drop in the amount of recorded broadcast TV that was watched more than once a week: 45% this year, versus 50% in 2010. And viewing for DVDs was down a percentage point.

In addition, the amounts of viewing to streamed movies, TV shows and video clips were all up by two to three percentage points across the six countries, the report found.

Broken out by country, the study found that Spain had the highest percentage of on-demand viewing -- 44% -- while the U.S. was second with 41% and the UK third with 40%.

"On-demand viewing is increasingly popular, while broadcast viewing has decreased," stated Anders Erlandsson, Ericsson's head researcher for the trend report.

TV has not been as negatively impacted by the Internet as print has to date, Erlandsson added. "But looking ahead, ConsumerLab research indicates that on-demand viewing continues to grow in popularity, and might eventually surpass broadcast."

2 comments about "Global TV Stats Down, But U.S. Viewing On The Rise".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, September 7, 2011 at 8:02 a.m.

    Steve, was there any indication of how this research was compiled? I hope that it wasn't recruited online and purports to represent the general population.

    Also a sample size of n=13,000 across 13 countries across June to August pales against the n=25,000 household (or around n=65,000 people based on 2.6n people per household) continuously metered tuning and viewing.

  2. Claudio Marcus from FreeWheel, September 7, 2011 at 11:10 a.m.

    What really matters is the total time spent viewing, not what percentage of the sample reported some viewing over a given period of time. Giving equal weight to the response from someone that watches one show a week as another person that watches 100 shows in the same week is simply not representative of total time spent viewing.

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