The latest edition of the annual Ericsson ConsumerLab TV & Media Report has found that streaming video is now almost level with traditional TV watching, with 75 per cent of consumers watching streamed content several times a week, compared to 77 per cent who watch scheduled broadcast TV programming.
The study also found that almost one in five viewers are prepared to pay for the ability to access their favoured content on any device, an increase of 25 per cent in two years.
The results, based on interviews with over 23,000 people in 23 different countries, show that a shift in user behaviour continues to drive change in the TV and media industries, ushering in an era of high-quality, on-demand entertainment.
The study shows a rise in the amount of time spent watching content on smartphones and tablet devices. It also reveals that traditional broadcast and pay TV channels are seen by many as ‘content repositories’ from which consumers pick content for later viewing, using their digital video recorder (DVR). DVR functionality is also helping to continue the trend of ‘binge viewing’.
Many viewers have moved to subscription-based video on demand services and 48 per cent state that they would like to see all episodes of a series released together, so they can choose when to watch them.
While 41 per cent of consumers expressed a desire to be able to watch their favourite shows anywhere, there were two major barriers to this: the cost of data traffic and the cost of the content itself. The research also found that many were not prepared to compromise on quality, with 43 per cent saying that UHD was important to them.
Niklas Heyman Rönnblom, senior advisor at Ericsson ConsumerLab, said: “The results of the study are clear media companies need to rethink how they create and release content, while the focus for TV service providers is on delivering the highest possible quality for viewers, no matter what device they are watching on. The landscape is changing rapidly, and business and delivery models will have to keep up with that pace of change if they are to continue to deliver perceived value to consumers.”
In an example of streamed content, Ericsson and Polish telecom operator Polkomtel successfully carried out the first test of LTE Broadcast technology in Poland on 30 August, streaming the opening game of the 2014 World Volleyball Championship between Poland and Serbia to an audience of 300 at Warsaw’s National Stadium.
This story also appears on IBC’s Content Everywhere.