tablet videoViewing TV programming over the Internet is growing, as is demand for more devices and more online content. And consumers are increasingly willing to pay for better access to content, which is reshaping the landscape of the media and entertainment industries, according to the fourth annual multinational “Accenture Digital Consumer Survey.” Accenture surveyed 23,000 consumers in 23 countries.

According to Accenture’s findings, 25 percent of respondents indicated the intention to purchase a connected TV over the next 12 months. Another 11 percent said they intend to replace an existing connected TV, and 12 percent said they plan to purchase a tablet, “expanding the market of addressable screens even further,” Accenture highlights in a press release.

“If consumers act on these intentions, it will represent remarkable growth in the addressable market for online video,” Gavin Mann, Accenture’s global broadcast industry lead, was quoted as saying. “This rapid digital expansion is fostering a new era of personalized TV experiences with the number of video-centric connected devices predicted to surpass the world’s population by 2017.”

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Nearly half (44 percent) of all respondents are watching full-length movies and TV shows over the Internet daily, while 39 percent are doing so weekly, Accenture’s research reveals. That’s despite 86 percent reporting streaming interruptions and 71 percent noting considerable slowdowns in viewing.

An encouraging sign for broadband providers, 60 percent of respondents streaming video at home said they were willing to pay for a faster connection. Sixty-two percent said they would pay extra for better quality in order to be able to watch online video wherever and whenever they like.

“Today’s consumers are viewing so much online video content that they are willing to pay for faster connections,” Mann commented. “That’s good news for content owners and for the service providers who are investing heavily in super-fast broadband. The fact that consumers are also willing to pay more for the content itself is a huge vote of confidence in the validity of over-the-top services.”

Accenture also found that consumers would prefer seamless bundling of their online video services. That was expressed when they selected Google, Apple and Samsung, in that order, as a preferred non-traditional broadcaster capable of delivering Pay-TV, VOD and Catch-up TV even though those aren’t core capacities of any of those companies at present, Accenture noted.

“It is no coincidence that the three most popular brands also have the largest market share of phones and tablets. Consumers clearly value content seamlessly bundled with devices – the reason Amazon dominates the ebook market with Kindle – it provides the best end-to-end experience. It will be interesting to see if Amazon climbs up the list when they launch a TV product,” Mann added.

“These disruptors are clearly bringing a lot of new technology to our century-old television viewing experience. Today’s incumbents have a great opportunity if they can innovate, while successfully leveraging their core strengths. Tomorrow’s high performers – will be those that combine art and technology.”

Consumers’ confidence and interest in ongoing technological advancements was also evident in the 18 percent of respondents who said they were looking forward to buying an Ultra HDTV set over the next 12 months, despite a lack of content and streaming outlets. “This suggests a trajectory similar to that of HDTV, where strong early adoption of TV sets ultimately drove up the supply of content of HDTV channels and Blu-ray discs,” Accenture noted.

Turning to data security, Accenture’s study revealed that 55 percent of respondents had concerns about it, though 67 percent said they were willing to provide additional personal data if service providers were to offer additional services or discounts. Millennials, as compared to older Generation X and Baby Boomers, were much more trusting and willing to share personal data, Accenture found.

“Broadcasters must gain this trust if they are going to offer new products and services such as recommendation engines and targeted advertising based on consumer data,” Mann said.

Mobile online video is contributing to the surge in overall online video viewing, though it “remains anchored in the home,” Accenture said, pointing out that more than 90 percent of all digital consumption still occurs in the home via a fixed line. Bandwidth is one factor constraining out-of-home online video viewing, the market research company added.

“There is a significant opportunity here for providers that can offer a truly mobile video experience regardless of location. The race is on to create the compelling mobile user experience, ‘the Spotify for Video’ – which, combined with increased 4G network coverage, could create the next tipping point,” Mann was quoted as saying.

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