U-verse TV appCarrying out new consumer-based research regarding habits and preferences for viewing content on smart TVs, Altman Vilandrie & Co. found that nearly 9 in 10 survey respondents want a single app for video watching across all devices.

Furthermore, 70 percent of consumers have not downloaded any network or cable channel apps even as the number of streaming video options continues to grow, according to Altman Vilandrie & Co.’s sixth annual survey of consumer video viewing habits. That adds to the body of evidence indicating OTT streaming video services are developing into a serious competitive threat, in particular by facilitating ¨cord cutting

The ubiquity of broadband network access and proliferation of mobile and connected personal devices opens up opportunities for cable and satellite video services providers to foster adoption of ¨TV Everywhere¨ – exactly the type of single video viewing app survey respondents said they want. Lack of consumer awareness has limited ¨TV Everywhere¨ adoption, however, Altman Vilandrie & Co. director Jonathan Hurd was quoted as saying. Hurd oversaw the survey and released the new data November 17 at the Streaming Media West conference.

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TV App Penetration
“Consumers are saying that greater choice does not always lead to a better experience,” Hurd added. “Managing multiple apps across multiple viewing platforms can be challenging and appears to be limiting the market penetration of nearly all TV apps.”

Among the survey’s highlights:

  • The percentage of consumers watching TV shows and movies online continues to grow, with 60% of those 55 and older now watching weekly, up from 48% in 2014. Young millennials (18-24) still outpace other age groups, with 89% now watching TV shows and movies online weekly.
  • More than half of all adults under age 25 binge watch TV shows on Netflix at least weekly. In general, younger adults are the most likely to binge-watch TV shows, defined as watching three or more episodes in a single sitting, on any service. Only 7% of those 55 and older binge watch TV shows on Netflix weekly.
  • While most Netflix users said they used an account owned by them or someone in their household, some sharing of accounts between multiple households exists. Young millennials used the highest percentage (25%) of accounts owned by someone outside their household (friend or family), suggesting that many of these young people are accessing their parents’ accounts during college or in early adulthood. The second highest level of account borrowing came from consumers 55 and older, which points to a generational reversal with older parents poaching Netflix services from their adult children.

Overall, TV app penetration for the four major broadcast networks CBS (18 percent), NBC (18 percent), ABC (16 percent) and Fox (8 percent) were the second-most popular among respondents who have downloaded at least one. Among younger survey respondents 18-34, Comedy Central’s app was the second-most popular, with 13 percent saying they downloaded it.

ESPN’s app was the most popular, with 27 percent of those who have downloaded at least one app having downloaded it (8 percent of consumers overall). ESPN’s app was especially popular among younger app downloaders, Altman, Vilandrie points out. TV app penetration for ESPN reached thirty-four percent of survey respondents aged 18-34.

That said, live sports plays a small part when considered in the context of what consumers watch online, according to the survey results. Less than 2 in 10 of active online video viewers (16 percent) said they view live sports online weekly. Corresponding statistics for movies and TV shows were much higher – 38 and 51 percent, respectively. In addition, more than 1 in 5 (22 percent) said they watch live news programming online on a weekly basis.

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