Few Consumers See Pay-TV As Their Dominant Video Content Source in 2020

January 7, 2015

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Men | Television | TV Audiences & Consumption | Video | Women | Youth & Gen X

Irdeto-US-Adults-Primary-Video-Viewing-Sources-in-2020-Jan2015For US adults, internet TV services are a more likely future content source than satellite pay-TV, according to a newly-released survey from Irdeto. Interestingly, user experience was cited as one of the key factors by those planning to watch mostly internet TV and by those seeing pay-TV as their primary viewing source in 2020.

The study asked respondents which type of service they plan to watch most of their TV/movies/sports content through in 2020, with 27% citing internet TV (a TV enabled with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, etc.) and 18% pointing to satellite pay-TV. The plurality of respondents – 33% – said they would likely watch a mixture of services so they can pick and choose the content they want. (The remaining respondents don’t plan to watch content on either service.)

There were – predictably – varying attitudes when sorting by demographic. Among youth (aged 18-34), internet TV was the leading future source for 40%, more than triple the share who see pay-TV (12%) as being their dominant service. But those aged 55 and older (who watch the most traditional TV) were more likely to plan for a mixture of services (36%) or primarily pay-TV (23%) than for internet TV (17%).

Focusing on internet TV, other demographic variables reveal that:

  • Men (30%) are more likely than women (25%) to see it as their primary viewing source in 2020;
  • There is little discernible difference when sorting by race;
  • Respondents with a post graduate education (36%) were significantly more likely to see it as their primary source than those with lesser education levels (25-27%); and
  • Those with children under 18 were more likely to see internet TV as the dominant source than those without kids of that age (34% vs. 25%).

Among respondents who plan to use internet TV for the majority of their viewing, the three identified reasons for doing so were all given equal weight: 41% cited the user experience and recommendations being better; 40% cited the ability to watch content on more devices as a reason; and 39% pointed to a preference to be able to watch multiple episodes at once as a factor.

Among adults planning to use satellite TV, 56% said it was because the quality and user experience is better, while 32% said it was because there is more content available.

Forecasting the quality of the user experience for both internet TV and pay-TV in 2020 are of course difficult predictions at best, so the attitudes are likely reflections of respondents’ current perspectives regarding the quality of the experiences. Nevertheless, the results align with other research, including a study released in late 2013 by MarketCast, which found TV viewers believing that pay-TV would be largely replaced by alternative viewing sources in the following 5 years.

About the Data: The survey was administered by YouGov from May 28-30, 2014. The survey was carried out online among 1,115 adults and the figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults.

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