Huge choice of TV content, devices drive significant shift in viewing patterns | News | Rapid TV News
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A TV consumption study by Trendbox has shown that the sheer choice of viewing options is beginning to affect viewing experiences.

The study — commissioned by Universal Electronics and based on 1,812 participants in the UK, France and Germany — points to the continued shift away from traditional TV viewing.

Almost half of consumers now have their main TVs connected to the Internet, and 75% have a range of other devices plugged into the television, with DVD players (46%), games consoles (30%) and computers or laptops (22%), being the most commonly used.

Approximately a third of those surveyed were found to use over-the-top (OTT) services, with YouTube (42%) coming top as the leading pan-European provider of OTT services. The most frequently used devices to tune in to these services are smart TVs (29%) and games consoles (22%).

Given such diversity and looking at how audiences control their TVs, the survey found that the average number of TVs was two per home, and together with the multitude of other systems, the average number of remotes in each household was 3.3.

Universal Electronics concluded that the overwhelming response from viewers in the survey was the need to have a control device that is easy to use (80%) and easy to set up to access their content. “What we are seeing is a huge shift in viewing behaviours, brought about by the sheer choice of content and available devices that viewers have,” commented senior VP subscription broadcasting Menno Koopmans. “For broadcasters and manufacturers, the challenge then becomes to meet audiences’ needs while ensuring their business models are viable. Ultimately, it comes down to simplifying the user experience.”

Almost a quarter of those surveyed had tried a universal remote (23%) in a bid to cut down on the number of zappers and simplify their control. However, the respondents who have used a universal remote only controlled two devices with it, and just over half (54%) said it was better than the original. The results give a clear indication that consumers need a single, user-friendly remote control capable of interacting with their chosen viewing device.

“The findings clearly show that with today’s audiences it is all about the customer experience – whether that is watching content in different ways or having a single remote control that meets their specific viewing needs,” Koopmans added.

“Consumers of content want their remote to work universally, yet it has to be easy to use, and easy to set up ... And as we add more features and functionality, like voice, motion and touch control, the customer experience becomes ever more important. The solution is one remote that works for all.”