Advertising-supported video on demand and subscription video on demand (SVOD) usage continue to grow -- especially with older viewers.
Bernstein Research, via data from TV/video measurer Symphony Audience Measurement, says that ad-supported video-on-demand programming grew 24% among 25-54 viewers to a 10.5% share of total day total viewing minutes in the fourth quarter of 2016 versus the same period the year before -- the fastest-growing audience segment.
Among 25-54 viewers, live TV commands a 28.4% share of total day viewing minutes (down 2%); SVOD usage, 27.6% (flat); DVR, 26.4% (down 3%); VOD, 10.5% (24% higher); and other OTT usage, 7.2% (flat).
Millennial viewers 18-24 still command the highest SVOD usage of any audiences -- 36.9% of their total day total viewing minutes, according to Symphony.
For older viewers -- those ages 35-49 -- research shows there was 39% rise in advertising-supported VOD in the fourth quarter, to a 9.2% share and a 11% hike in SVOD usage to a 14.7% share.
In other viewing for 35- to-49-year-olds: live TV was down 6% to 38.9% of total day total viewing minutes, with DVR slipping 4% to 32.5% and other OTT inching up 1% to a 4.8% share.
The biggest SVOD provider, Netflix, has seen its largest gain with those same 35- to-49-year-old viewers. In the fourth quarter, this group was 8% higher versus the same period the year before. Younger viewers 25-34 grew slightly, 2%; while Millennials, 18-24 year olds, slipped 3%.
Netflix still commands the lion’s share of all U.S. SVOD viewing -- taking (depending on the audience segment) from a 63% share to a 76% share of total day total viewing minutes. Hulu’s share ranges from 20% to 30%, and Amazon is 5.5% to 7%.
Bernstein does issue caution about some of this data: “There is a big caveat around Symphony AM's panel. It is relatively small (18,000 households) and definitely not representative of the U.S. TV population (it's too young, and related to that, seems to over-index in SVOD penetration).”
“For instance, 70% of Symphony panelists had exposure to some Netflix content (whereas only about 40% of U.S. households subscribe to Netflix). But considering the amount of Netflix account sharing, that's not as much of an over-index as it might sound.”
News Flash - 35-49 is not old. Neither are Boomers. People over 35 know how to use technology very well and have embraced it. On demand TV is fabulous, however, I would rather have more commercials and pay less.
On demand viewing can be a very cross generational event in families. Who hasn't binge watched a few episodes of at least one show.
35-49 older viewers? I don't think so. 35-49 year-olds are the biggest users of almost all media, including DVRs. So it's no surprise that they are now showing the biggest gains among video on demand. And again, I've never heard anyone refer to adults 35-49 as older viewers.
Note to younger people: You are getting older. People flock in and out of demographics by the second and those who did it younger a few years ago keeping DVRing as they transition to being older. Please wake up.
With findings such as are noted here, Bernsteiin's caution about how representative this panel may be is well taken. The data bears little semblance to what Nielsen and others are reporting.