Streaming outpacing pay TV as service ‘most valuable’ to consumers

By Jim O'Neill on Apr 23 2015 at 7:45 AM
Streaming outpacing pay TV as service ‘most valuable’ to consumers

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of consumers aged 14-25 regard streaming as one of the most valuable services, compared to just 58% who cite pay TV. These “Trailing Millennials,” said a new survey, spend 57% of their time watching TV programs on mobile devices and computers, far higher than other age groups.  

Deloitte’s latest research, its ninth annual “Digital Democracy Survey,” also found that consumers in the United States are watching more TV programs on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime than they are watching live TV. The survey found 53% stream TV shows on a monthly basis, while only 45% said they prefer to watch TV shows live.

Deloitte also found nearly 56% of those surveyed now stream movies monthly.

Earlier research has found that some 42% of U.S. households subscribe to an SVOD service, with many subscribing to two or more.

"The notion of consumers sitting in their living rooms to watch television shows at programmed times, especially among younger generations, is quickly giving way to a market of viewers using multiple devices inside and outside the home to consume content when and where they choose to watch," the study said. "In 2014, there was a shift away from appointment TV to a large number of consumers binge-watching on their own schedules."

The research from Deloitte said older viewers remain more tied to their traditional TV services… but noted that more also were looking to streaming for their video entertainment.

While some 80% of consumers 32-48 cited pay TV as among the most valuable services, 47% selected streaming. For Baby Boomers, 89% picked pay TV and 43% picked streaming.

One thing viewers agreed on: Binging on content.

Nearly 70% of consumers engaging in bingeing, defined as watching three or more episodes at a time, with 80% of Trailing Millennials saying they binged.

Nearly one-third of all viewers binge on a weekly basis, with Trailing Millennials slightly higher at 42%.

"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 behaviors and attitudes towards curating an individual experience," said Gerald Belson, Deloitte vice chairman.
Older viewers were becoming more comfortable with watching video on devices, although TV remained their primary choice.

While Trailing Millennials’ spent less well than half of their viewing time watching TVs, older viewers were more tied to the TV set. Leading Millennials spent 57% of their viewing time watching the big screen. But Gen-Xers remain more traditional, with 70% turning to the TV set, along with Baby Boomers (81%) and viewers over 68 years old (90%).

Not surprisingly, Deloitte also said 25% of Trailing Millennials were either cord nevers or cord cutters, having either not had a pay-TV service for more than a year or having cancelled pay-TV services in the past year.
That’s a significantly higher rate than older demographics, who stood at 16% overall.

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