tv_watchingNearly half of all Americans subscribe to streaming video services — and they’re taking to binge watching with fervor, according to a binge watching survey from Deloitte. Seven in 10 U.S. consumers watch an average of five episodes at a time, and nearly 1/3 binge watch on a weekly basis, researchers said.

The binge watching survey is part of Deloitte’s 10th annual ¨Digital Democracy Survey¨ report.

Binge Watching Survey
Aged 14-25, Millennials spend more time watching streaming video than they do watching live TV, according to Deloitte. In addition:

  • More than half of all consumers and three-quarters of Millennials watch movies and TV shows via streaming on at least a monthly basis;
  • Millennials aged 26-32 who currently pay for streaming video have an average of three subscriptions;
  • Millennials aged 14-25 value their streaming video subscriptions more than pay TV subscriptions:
  • Over one-third of baby boomers aged 50-68 (35 percent) who binge watch TV do so once a week, and average four episodes per sitting;
  • Over half (53 percent) of US consumers who binge watch choose television dramas;
  • The percentage of streaming subscribers who ranked the service among their top three most valued subscriptions has tripled in the last three years (61 percent today, up from 17 percent in 2012).

“The proliferation of online content shows no signs of slowing down and the consumer appetite to consume content is equally voracious,” Gerald Belson, vice chairman and US Media and Entertainment Sector leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP, was quoted in a press release. “The survey data indicates that consumers are more willing than ever to invest in services to watch whenever, wherever, and on whatever device they choose.”

TV, Social Media and Multitasking
Millennials are turning to social media rather than traditional television advertisements to form opinions and inform buying decisions, Deloitte said. Nearly 3 in 4 Millennials’ buying decisions are influenced more by social media recommendations than television ads, according to Deloitte.

In addition:

  • Of millennials aged 19-25, 71 percent indicated that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews from people they do not know, which is higher than the number who are influenced by TV ads;
  • More than one-third of consumers under age 50 and nearly half of Millennials say their buying decisions are influenced by an endorsement from an online personality.

Social media sites have also become the most popular source of news for Millennials. In addition. 2/3 said they value social media channel interactions with friends as much as they do in-person meetings. Overall, Deloitte found that 85% of U.S. consumers use social media and nearly 6 in 10 (58%) check their social media sites daily.

Americans are now dividing their time accessing social media and doing other things while watching TV. More than 9 in 10 said they multitask in this way.

Milllennials said they engage in an average of four additional activities while watching TV. Surfing the Internet, using social media and text messaging were the most common of these activities.

One third of consumers Web browse while watching television, Deloitte said. Less than ¼ of multitasking activities are related to the programs viewers are watching. That indicates second-screen activities haven’t yet realized their full potential, according to Deloitte.

“The on-the-go, always-connected consumer is driving cultural changes in content consumption that fundamentally impact how companies connect with and engage consumers,” added Kevin Westcott, principal and US Media and Entertainment Consulting leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “These behavioral changes combined with the shift towards mobile-based consumer experiences are disrupting traditional business models—while at the same time paving the way for newer opportunities for technology, media, and entertainment companies to adapt and evolve.”

Image courtesy of flickr user D.Reichardt.

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