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Streaming video changes game



A recent Deloitte Digital Democracy survey has revealed that streaming video services are changing the viewing habits of many consumers. Streaming content has long overtaken live programming and younger viewers are opting to watch content on a mobile device instead of a television.

Streaming video services, now used by more than 42 percent of American households, are changing media consumption habits across generations, according to the ninth edition of the Deloitte “Digital Democracy Survey”. The study reveals that streaming content has overtaken live programming as the viewing method-of-choice, with 56 percent of consumers now streaming movies and 53 percent streaming television on a monthly basis, as compared to 45 percent of consumers preferring to watch television programs live.

Moreover, younger viewers have moved to watching TV shows on mobile devices rather than on television. Among Trailing Millennials (age 14-25), nearly 60 percent of time spent watching movies occurs on computers, tablets and smartphones, making movie viewing habits decidedly age-dependent.

The report also finds that the trend of binge-watching – viewing three or more program episodes at one sitting – is prevalent with 68 percent of consumers doing so today. In fact, 31 percent of Americans who binge-watch, do so at least once a week, led by Trailing Millennials, who binge watch more frequently than any other generation at 42 percent. The survey also notes that TV-dramas are the most popular television genre to binge-watch, commanding 54 percent of binge-watchers’ attention: a characteristic more pronounced among females. Additionally, 20 percent of Americans binge-watch comedies, with more being male.

Deloitte’s “Digital Democracy Survey” compares and contrasts generational preferences of more than 2,000 consumers, ages 14 and older in the U.S., revealing significant technology, media, and telecommunications consumption trends, including attitudes and behaviour toward advertising and social networks, mobile technologies, the Internet, and consumption preferences across platforms and devices.

“Personal viewing experiences and the ability to consume media at your own pace is significantly impacting how U.S. consumers value their content devices and services,” said Arun, Deloitte Consulting leader for the TMT industry. “Today, binge-watching, and the ability to watch what we want, when we want, and where we want, is an exciting cultural phenomenon that is shifting consumer behaviours and attitudes towards curating an individual experience.

“From a South African perspective, our digital consumption choices are currently limited due to the high data charges. But that said, we are still experiencing a steady but slow growth in attitudes and behaviors related to advertising and social networks, mobile implications, media consumption preferences across platforms and devices, and the internet. High consumption of media still remains on traditional platforms like TV and radio but that also varies based on different LSMs,” said Babu.

According to a recent MediaOnline report, Smartphone penetration in SA is at a healthy 40%, putting it above Brazil, Russia, India and Turkey. This means that advertisers have to change the way they target South African consumers.

At Home, Multitasking Commands Attention

The growing ubiquity of digital devices and corresponding engagement activities among the American consumer is profound, with 90 percent of consumers now multitasking while watching TV. Among Millennials and Generation X (age 32-48), both engage in an average of three additional activities while watching television, including internet browsing, reading email and text messaging. Other interesting findings include:

Multitasking activities, while abundant, are not usually tied to television programs being watched. Less than one-quarter of those watching television are engaging in multitasking activities that correlate with the ongoing program.

Consumers tend to pay more attention to digital (online) ads as compared to traditional TV advertising, with nearly 75 percent of consumers saying that they tend to multitask more during television ads than during digital ads.

Consumers are willing to endure advertisements in exchange for discounted services. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) agreed that they would be willing to view advertising during their streaming video programming if it significantly reduced the cost of their subscription.

Personalisation of Gaming

With mobile device ownership continuing to grow, gamers are now spending one-third of their time playing games via mobile platforms. The survey also reveals that:

Almost 40 percent of consumers and 54 percent of Trailing Millennials play at least some video games on a daily or weekly basis.

Of the time spent on playing games, 24 percent of consumers play on gaming consoles, 21 percent on a smartphone and 11 percent on tablet devices.

Gaming consoles are no longer being used solely for gaming anymore, with 38 percent of consumers using them to stream movies and television online, and 29 percent using their consoles to view online content.

“While gaming continues to be influenced by mobile technology, consoles are expanding in functionality, and in doing so, are helping to feed the consumption needs of a larger consumer base,” continued Babu. “Gaming devices are not just geared to satiate the appetite of avid gamers, but of those who require devices capable of providing a full package of quality entertainment services, coupled with the speeds to deliver them.

State of the Millennial Buyer

Millennials, which the survey divides into Leading Millennials (age 26-31) and Trailing Millennials (age 14-25) for this study, are increasingly influencing product and service functionalities and are eager to adopt, even model, the next big thing.

The survey reveals that 13 percent of Trailing Millennials who don’t already have smart watches intend to buy one in the next 12 months, and 12 percent of the same age group who don’t already own fitness bands intend to buy a fitness band within the same period. Among Leading Millennials, 17 percent intend to buy a smartwatch in the next 12 months, and 14 percent intend to buy a fitness band within the same time frame.

The value that Millennials place on devices and services was also examined, with home Internet overwhelmingly the most valued service among subscribers according to 93 percent of Millennials. Furthermore, more than half (58 percent) of Trailing Millennial subscribers still value Pay TV, with 22 percent of those consumers who don’t currently own a television planning to purchase a new television within the next 12 months. Among Leading Millennials, 75 percent of subscribers were shown to value Pay TV, with 25 percent of non-owners planning to purchase a new television in the next 12 months.

According to the survey, there was a decrease in the number of Pay TV subscribers that say they have no plans to change providers or cut the cord this year. A quarter of Trailing Millennials either cancelled their Pay TV subscriptions in the last 12 months or haven’t had Pay TV for more than a year. Among Leading Millennials, it was shown that 16 percent indicated they had either cancelled their Pay TV subscription in the last 12 months or haven’t had Pay TV for more than a year.

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