Streaming Video Overtakes Live Programming As Method-of-Choice

According to the recently released Deloitte "Digital Democracy Survey," streaming video services, used by more than 42% of American households, has overtaken live programming as the viewing method-of-choice, with 56% of consumers now streaming movies and 53% streaming television on a monthly basis, as compared to 45% of consumers preferring to watch television programs live.

Younger viewers have moved to watching TV shows on mobile devices rather than on television, says the report. Among Trailing Millennials (age 14-25), nearly 60% of time spent watching movies occurs on computers, tablets and smartphones, making movie viewing habits decidedly age-dependent.

The report also finds that the trend of binge-watching, viewing three or more program episodes at one sitting, is prevalent with 68% of consumers doing so today. 31% of Americans who binge-watch, do so at least once a week, led by Trailing Millennials, who binge watch more frequently than any other generation at 42%.



TV-dramas are the most popular television genre to binge-watch, says the report, commanding 54% of binge-watchers’ attention; a characteristic more pronounced among females. And, 20% of Americans binge-watch comedies, with more being male.

Gerald Belson, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, "Personal viewing experiences and the ability to consume media at your own pace… significantly impacting how U.S. consumers value their content devices and services… binge-watching… and the ability to watch what we want, when, and where we want… a cultural phenomenon that is shifting consumer behaviors and attitudes towards curating an individual experience… “

90% of consumers now multitasking while watching TV, says the repport. Among Millennials and Generation X (age 32-48), both engage in an average of three additional activities while watching television, including internet browsing, reading email and text messaging. Other interesting findings from the study include:

  • Multitasking activities, while abundant, are not usually tied to television programs being watched. Less than one-quarter of those watching television are engaging in multitasking activities that correlate with the ongoing program. 
  • Consumers tend to pay more attention to digital (online) ads as compared to traditional TV advertising, with nearly 75% of consumers saying that they tend to multitask more during television ads than during digital ads.
  • Consumers are willing to endure advertisements in exchange for discounted services. 62% agreed that they would be willing to view advertising during their streaming video programming if it significantly reduced the cost of their subscription.
  • Gaming consoles are no longer being used solely for gaming, with 38% of consumers using them to stream movies and television online, and 29% using their consoles to view online content.

Leading Millennials (age 26-31) and Trailing Millennials (age 14-25,) are increasingly influencing product and service functionalities and are eager to adopt the next big thing. The survey found that 13% of Trailing Millennials who don’t already have smart watches intend to buy one in the next 12 months, and 12% of the same age group who don’t already own fitness bands intend to buy a fitness band within the same period. Among Leading Millennials, 17% intend to buy a smartwatch in the next 12 months, and 14% intend to buy a fitness band within the same time frame.

The home Internet is overwhelmingly the most valued service among subscribers according to 93% of Millennials. 58% of Trailing Millennial subscribers still value Pay TV, though a quarter of Trailing Millennials either cancelled their Pay TV subscriptions in the last 12 months or haven’t had Pay TV for more than a year. Among Leading Millennials, it was shown that 16% indicated they had either cancelled their Pay TV subscription in the last 12 months or haven’t had Pay TV for more than a year.

For more information on the "Digital Democracy Survey," please visit Deloitte here.



3 comments about "Streaming Video Overtakes Live Programming As Method-of-Choice".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 22, 2015 at 7:16 a.m.

    Jack, this is just another of those wildly inaccurate and misleading reports, based on vaugely posed, highly generalized questions asked of respondents who can't provide meaningful answers. The "conclusion"----or wishful thinking----that assumes that "streaming" has overtaken "live" viewing is not even close to the truth, and the contention that audiences pay more "attention" to digital ads than TV commercials, based on the "findings" that 75% of the respondents "multitask" while watching TV, is just plain ridiculous.

    It never fails to amaze me that some otherwise intelligent people---based on poorly designed studies of this nature----actually believe that the vast majority of the TV audience at any given moment in time, is also using a tablet or smartphone, and/or reading a magazine or tweeting---all at exactly the same time. If such nonsense were true, why whould anyone bother to turn on their TV set----since they pay no attention to it? I wonder how many of us, as we watched the finale of "Mad Men", were multitasking throughout the telecast---all 60 minutes of it? Not many, I suspect.

  2. David Marans from ARF, May 22, 2015 at 8:24 a.m.

    Thank you, once again Ed, for the reality check. I have no skin in this game. But clearly  some of these conclusions, based on opinion not actual behavior, conflict wildly with syndicated data used to trade tens of billions of marketing dollars. 

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, May 26, 2015 at 8:25 p.m.

    I'm with Ed - an outstanding work of fiction.

    But it does raise the question of how you can construct a sample and questionnaire that can be so disconnected from reality yet ring no alarm bells - that takes some doing.

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