According to new GfK research, “Digital Media Players 2014,” one-third of owners have reduced or eliminated pay TV service because of other devices available. 19% of TV viewers now own at least one of the three major digital media players: Roku, Google’s Chromecast, or Apple TV, a 10-fold increase over the 2010 ownership level (2%).
While digital media players clearly enable use of streaming video and other platforms that enhance viewer control, the research suggests that they may actually provide a net gain for traditional TV viewing, says the report.
Overall, 43% to 50% (varies by device brand) of digital media player owners say that they use the devices in addition to their regular TV viewing, larger than the proportions (31% to 42%) that use them to substitute for traditional TV. Chromecast owners are most likely to report that their digital player supplements, rather than replaces, broadcast TV.
One third of digital media player users say they have reduced or eliminated their Pay TV service due to their usage of the devices. Roku owners are most likely to report “cord slicing” or “cord cutting,” with Chromecast and Apple TV at essentially the same levels.
In addition, 21% to 36% of digital media player owners say they now watch some networks, services, or programs because of their availability on the devices, with Roku users reporting the highest levels of this “new” viewing.
David Tice, Senior Vice President at GfK, says “Digital media players take a primary role in users’ viewing behavior, ranking as the first or second destination, ahead of live TV or DVRs, when deciding what to watch in primetime… a positive note for linear networks is that digital media player users don’t perceive their use as cannibalizing their regular TV viewing… ”
Digital Player Preference To Watch TV/Movies (Rank: 1= 1st Choice; ()= Avg. Rank; Adults 18+)
Using own device
Live TV broadcast
DVD or Blu-ray
Streaming other device
OnDemand from service provider
Source: GfK, November 2014; “… rank device when sit down to watch TV or movies”
Editor’s note: Marketing Charts, in reviewing this study from GfK, says that Roku and Apple TV device users are as likely to say they use those devices in addition to regular broadcasts as they do as a replacement for regular TV, while Chromecast users are more likely to use them as additive (50%) rather than replacements (31%). Apple TV and Roku users say their devices are their first considered viewing source when watching TV/movies in the evening, ahead of live TV, a fairly significant result.
For additional information from GfK, please visit here.