Mobile surges as VOD viewing set to catch up linear TV by 2020 | Media Analysis | Business
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ericsson 9oct2017The latest edition of the Ericsson ConsumerLab and Media study has identified two major tipping points for TV viewing in three years’ time with linear and video on-demand (VOD) viewing almost equal, and half of all viewing being done on a mobile screen.

Ericsson found that all forms of TV and video viewing are on the rise, but how, when and where we watch content is changing. The ConsumerLab study reveals that time spent watching TV and video content has reached an all-time high of 30 hours a week, including active viewing of scheduled linear TV, live and on-demand Internet services, downloaded and recorded content, as well as DVD and Blu-ray. However, it noted that almost three-fifths of viewers now prefer on-demand viewing over scheduled linear TV viewing, an increase of around 50% since 2010.

The survey showed that the average number of used on-demand services has increased from 1.6 in 2012 to 3.8 services in 2017 per person and that two-fifths of consumers already pay for on-demand TV and video services today. Nearly a third say they will increase their on-demand spending in the next six to 12 months. Portability is also becoming increasingly important factor, with more than a third of consumers wanting access to content when abroad. The growth of on-demand viewing is set to continue to soar through to 2020 so that by then on-demand will make up almost half of total viewing.

Mobile viewing through tablets, smartphones and laptops, is by 2020 projected to enjoy an increase of 85% since 2010. Smartphones alone are expected to account for almost a quarter of viewing, an increase of nearly 160% over a ten-year period. Approximately 70% of consumers now watch videos on a smartphone – double the amount from 2012 – making up a fifth of total TV and video viewing. 16-19-year-olds watch the most content each week (33 hours), an increase of almost ten hours a week since 2010. However, more than half of this demographic spend their time watching content on-demand, with more than 60% of their TV and video viewing hours.

Yet despite this growth, Ericsson cautioned that the findings also show that while consumers have more access to TV and video services than ever before, the average time spent on searching for content has increased to almost one hour per day, an increase of 13% since last year. In fact, an eighth of consumers believe that they will get lost in the vast amount of available content in the future. With the user experience becoming ever more fragmented, three-fifths of consumers now rank content discovery as ‘very important’ when subscribing to a new service, while 70% want ‘universal search for all TV and video’.

“We can see that consumers are not only watching more video but also changing how and when they do so,” said Ericsson ConsumerLab senior advisor Anders Erlandsson. “This is also shown through the continued growth of mobile viewing, which has been a booming trend since 2010.”

The 2017 ConsumerLab TV and Media report  also marked the first time that Ericsson explored the level of consumer interest in virtual reality (VR) in conjunction with media consumption, and the company said that the findings have been ‘fascinating’. A third of consumers is projected to be VR users by 2020, and Ericsson notes that the technology is expected to play an essential role in the future of TV and video. Yet it warns that if consumer interest in VR is to increase, several things will need to change. Close to 55% of consumers planning to get VR devices would prefer it if the headsets were cheaper, and almost half think there should be more immersive content available. A third said that they would be more interested in VR if they could get a VR bundle from their TV and video provider.

Erlandsson added: “VR has the potential to bring together people from all over the world and create deeper, more personalised, and more complementary media experiences. As consumer expectations for on-demand, mobile and immersive viewing continues to increase, the TV and media industry must focus on delivering highly personalised services in the very best possible quality available.”
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