Consumers, Armed With Alternative Sources, Say Live TV is a Minority of Their Program Viewing

May 8, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Television

Vubiquity-How-TV-Show-Viewing-is-Divvied-Up-May2013An average of just 44% of viewing of full-length TV shows is live, according to [download page] respondents to a study from Vubiquity. However, the survey was limited to consumers with access to video-on-demand services from a cable/telco/satellite provider, meaning that it may not be representative of the entire TV viewing population. (Previous research from Nielsen indicates that around 90% of broadcast and cable primetime viewing is live.) Still, the results suggest that live TV viewing is falling victim to alternative sources of content: respondents to the Vubiquity study indicate that 22% of their viewing of full-length TV shows is from a DVR, 14% is on demand, and 6% is via an online source, among others.

The results point to the increasing trend of consumers wanting access to video content on their own schedule, a key reason spurring consumption of online video. That, in turn, can lead to binge viewing, where viewers watch multiple episodes of a show at a time, an activity that up to half of Americans engage in, according to recent research from Harris Interactive.

Indeed, according to the Vubiquity study, when asked how they typically consume full-length TV shows, 56% of respondents exhibited a tendency to binge view. Specifically, 43% said they watch shows often and a lot at once, while 13% say they watch not very often but typically a lot at once.

That doesn’t mean that live TV doesn’t have a place in the binge viewing experience, though. In fact, of the various sources for binge viewing (offering 3 or more episodes), live TV emerged as the most common option among respondents, followed by DVR, on-demand, and online sources.

Still, live TV viewing may continue to decline at the hands of other sources. Overall satisfaction with video-on-demand services is up 5% points from 2010, to 54% last year, according to the survey. Satisfaction with the availability of programs in HD has taken a big jump in that period, increasing 8% points to 49%. Similarly, consumers are increasingly pleased with the number of choices available and the frequency with which new programs are added to their service.

Overall, 65% of respondents agreed that “everything I might ever want to watch is easily available” on-demand, a huge increase from 12% of respondents in 2010.

A research study conducted in the UK between October 2011 and November 2012 by Tremor Video and the IAB UK recently found that video-on-demand campaigns can serve as an effective complement to TV advertising, increasing both brand awareness and message association, particularly among light TV viewers.

About the Data: A national sample of approximately 1,700 consumers with access to VOD services from a cable/telco/satellite provider participated in the survey. Respondents ranged in age from 18 ”“ 64 and demographics roughly mirror the US population in age and gender. The study was conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc., a leading research-based strategic consulting firm.

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