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Study: Traditional TV losing viewing time to online services, but all is NOT lost
Study: Traditional TV losing viewing time to online services, but all is NOT lost
Friday, February 26, 2016

The recipe for a successful – or at least a popular – over-the-top (OTT) or subscription video on-demand (SVOD) is a relatively simple one:

  • Know your audience.
  • Know what content they want to watch.
  • Make that content easily accessible.
  • Make it portable.
  • And, make sure you can recommend more content that has relevance to them.

New research from Hub Entertainment Research, shows the move to online video is accelerating, especially among younger viewers, and that despite reports to the contrary, online viewers are watching less traditional TV as they add Cloud TV time to their daily schedule.

Hub said more than three-quarters (77%) of Americans with broadband access have watched online-only video in the past six months; among 16-24 year olds, it’s nearly ubiquitous, with 88% saying they’ve watched in the same time frame.

But the study – Non-Traditional TV – goes further, reporting that 76% of viewers watch every week, and 53% of 16-24 year olds watch daily.

And, we’re not talking about toe-in-the-water viewing; the average viewer – among 16-74 year olds now watches more than 8 hours of online video a week.

It’s been popular to say that viewers are using online video to complement their traditional TV viewing, that users are simply watching more of everything. But Hub found that 37% of viewers watch less traditional TV than they did before adopting online viewing; among 18- to 34-year-old Millennials, that share is significantly higher, with nearly half (46%) watching less TV delivered over-the-air or via pay-TV.

“Online video serves up entertainment and information in ways that directly address viewers’ needs,” said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and one of the authors of the study. “And in three areas in particular, consumers feel online video does a better job than traditional TV: Shorter formats, more inventive treatments, and genres that are micro-targeted to match interests.”

Online video’s advantages have always included ease of access and portability, something consumers consider table stakes for a video service.

Survey respondents also said 57% of their online viewing is unplanned, with them willing to stop whatever else they’re doing to watch a video pushed to them.

That nugget underlines just how much of an opportunity OTT providers have to take audience share and create loyal users by understanding their content likes and dislikes and having the ability to recommend relevant content to users. Using analytics to help create a personalized viewing experience is crucial to any content service. It helps create an engaged viewer, reduce churn and increase revenue potential.

The survey also found opportunity for traditional media operators: Mimic the best of online video.

The recipe?

  • Know your audience.
  • Know what content they want to watch.
  • Make that content easily accessible.
  • Make it portable.
  • And, make sure you can recommend more content that has relevance to them.

Stay tuned.

Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

Jim O'Neill

An award-winning industry expert and futurist who specializes in the convergence of traditional TV and the Internet. My focus includes pay TV, Cloud TV, OTT, multiplatform media delivery, the ecosystem that surrounds it and consumer trends. A frequent speaker at CES, NAB, Digital Hollywood, Park’s Associates Connections events, Streaming Media and Digital Entertainment World, among others. I'm the Editor of Videomind, which in the past year has won awards from Editor & Publisher and Digiday. I'm also the Principal Analyst at Ooyala. I'm based in Michigan. I formerly was an analyst at Parks Associates and editor of FierceOnlineVideo and FierceIPTV. 

You can follow on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on Linkedin