tv_antennaPeople around the world are increasingly turning to a variety of consumer electronic (CE) devices – smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles, as well as portable and desktop PCs – to satisfy their need for entertainment. The emergence of the variety of CE devices and digital network technology that enables “anytime, anywhere” viewing and media consumption may signal the end of the television (TV) set’s popularity as the “go-to entertainment device,” according to Accenture’s “Digital Video and the Connected Consumer” report.

According to Accenture, which surveyed 24,000 consumers across 24 countries in producing the report: “The television was the only product category to see uniform, double-digit usage declines across different types of media worldwide among viewers of nearly all ages.

The TV set, Accenture highlights in a press release, “is rapidly being replaced as consumers turn to a combination of laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones to view video content.” “Anytime, anywhere” video consumption, in turn, “has become mainstream.”

Media Consumption Survey
Viewing of long-form video – movies and TV programs – on TV screens has dropped by 13 percent globally in the past year and 11 percent in the U.S., Accenture found. TV-screen viewership declined 10 percent globally and 9 percent in the U.S.

The declines extended across all age groups, with 14 to 17-year olds leading the way. Teens worldwide are “abandoning the TV screen at the rate of 33 percent for movies and television shows and 26 percent for sporting events,” according to Accenture.

accessing digital content

Frequency of Accessing Digital Content (% Users accessing content “daily” AND “weekly”) – 2015 Accenture Digital Consumer Survey

Corresponding statistics for 18-34 year olds came in at a decline of 14 percent for movies and TV shows and a decline of 12 percent for sporting events. For 35-54 year olds, TV viewing movies/ TV shows and sports events dropped 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

The decline in TV viewing wasn’t so severe among those 55 and older. TV viewing of TV shows and movies fell 6 percent and that for sporting events declined 1 percent among older viewers.

”We are seeing a definitive pendulum shift away from traditional TV viewing,” Gavin Mann, Accenture’s global broadcast industry lead, was quoted as saying.

“TV shows and movies are now a viewing staple on mobile devices of all shapes and sizes, thanks to improved streaming and longer battery life. The second screen viewing experience is where the content creators, broadcasters and programmers will succeed or fail.”

Multi-Device, Multi-Platform Viewing on the Rise
Well over one-third (37 percent) of media consumers own a combination of smartphones, laptops/desktops, and tablets. Eight-seven percent of consumers said they use more than one device at a time when viewing.

preferred device for digital content

Preferred Device for Accessing Digital Content – 2015 Accenture Digital Consumer Survey

It turns out that “the smartphone is the most frequent companion device” with 57 percent of survey respondents reporting they use their smartphones to watch online video.“

This trend is particularly strong for Millennials,” Accenture pointed out, with 74 percent of 14-17 year olds worldwide using a combination of TV/smartphones during viewing.” That contrasts with survey respondents in North America, where laptops/computers are being used more frequently for simultaneous viewing – 59 percent vs. 42 percent for smartphones.

Sixty-one percent of those who said they plan to purchase a TV said they expect to buy a connected TV. One-quarter intend to buy a 4K TV, a rise of 7 percent over the past year. “These purchasers report that they use these devices to access all kinds of content on a daily basis,” Accenture noted.

Quality of online services is becoming more important to viewers. Nearly 9 in 10 (89 percent) watch long-form video using connected devices and “many report issues with their viewing experience,” according to Accenture.

More than half (51 percent) said their primary complaint was poor Internet service. Too much advertising (42 percent); service time spent buffering (33 percent), and loss of sound or distortions during viewing (32 percent) were other common complaints.

Accenture pointed out, however, that “respondents said they would pay for online video service if it included greater content variety, less advertising, and better video quality.”

All that said, Accenture adds that “traditional TV broadcasters have a strong advantage over new market entrants, as respondents showed a preference for the dominant TV broadcaster, satellite and cable providers over newer Internet providers.”

 Survey respondents rated the appeal of pay-TV channels or video-on-demand (VoD) services from high-tech providers such as Apple, Google and Netflix significantly lower than those from traditional providers.

“New entrants, regardless of their brand, will have to prove their service quality to consumers to capture significant market share,” Mann commented. “Consumers prefer established brands, and broadcasters need to capitalize on this while the iron is hot by aggressively investing in multi-device platforms and securing partnerships that leverage their footprint into the mobile space.

“A simple repackaging of the same programming available anywhere may not do it. It needs to be unique and special.”