The Connected TV Viewing Revolution

TV viewing has changed forever

Fewer people than ever are watching traditional linear TV

  • Britons watched an average of 11 minutes less television in 2013 than the previous year.
  • In the US, Forrester Research found that 46% of US respondents watched linear TV in a typical month.
  • Viewership for long-form video content, such as movies and television on a TV screen, declined by 13% globally in 2014.

In fact, the number of UK and US homes with a TV has fallen for the first time

The global television market shrank last year for the second year in a row after total shipments declined by 6 percent from already soft 2012 levels.

Ofcom reported that after years of consecutive growth, the number of households with a television set fell from 26.33m at the end of 2012 to 26.02m at the end of 2013.

In spite of this trend, TV is still by far America’s favourite entertainment past-time

Individuals are spending more hours surfing web and viewing streaming services. The average person in America watched about 141 hours of live television per month in the third quarter of 2014, compared to 147 hours in the third quarter of 2013.

In the UK, total daily TV viewing in the UK during 2014 averaged at three hours, 44 minutes and 30 seconds per person, a drop of 10 minutes and 30 seconds per day from 2013.

The decline in TV viewing is sharpest amongst Millennials

Between 2013 and 2014, there was a 22% fall in TV viewing among 15–24 year olds…

…and a 15% drop in viewing among 16–34 year olds in the UK.

In the US, Nielsen’s most recent study showed that traditional TV viewing among 18-24-year-olds in Q1 2014 was down by almost 7% year-over-year.

Viewers are turning to tablets, smartphones & social media to watch and comment on TV

  • 25% of those surveyed worldwide watch content on a PC, laptop, tablet or mobile daily.
  • This rises to one third (33%) in mainland China and Singapore.
  • …and 32% in Hong Kong, where 'phablets' are increasingly popular.

Of Britons who have watched TV on a tablet, laptop or smartphone…

  • 56% were in the living room
  • 46% in the bedroom
  • 19% in the kitchen

In the US, 84% of smartphone and tablet owners say they use their devices as second screens while watching TV; roughly one million Americans turn to Twitter to discuss TV on an average day.

Second screen behaviour has become firmly established as a key TV consumption trend

According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, 66% of people use at least one other device while watching TV.

Using a mobile phone while watching TV is particularly popular in the US and UK, where 55% of people said they did this.

However, users in some markets are more likely to use two mobile phones at once. 23% of people around the world are doing this. This is most popular in Indonesia, rising to 51%.

Mobile is now driving second screen social conversations

Younger viewers are 2.5 times as likely to read social media comment about programming and 3 times as likely to post social media comments about programming.

A study of over 55,000 internet users worldwide found that 48% of people who watch TV in the evening simultaneously engage in other digital activities, such as social media, checking their emails, or shopping online.

Binge watching isn't an emerging trend: it's mainstream and the new normal

TV has experienced profound shifts in viewing behaviour: 24% of Britons now watch TV in ‘binge’ sessions (2–3 episodes of a single TV series in one setting), according to Deloitte. This rises to around a third of those aged 25 to 34 and doubles among those earning £55,000 a year or more.

According to recent Netflix research, around 75% of US TV viewers admit to ‘binge-watching’ TV. 61% binge watch regularly.

Despite so-called ‘Death of TV’ stories in the media, people still gravitate to the telly for events

One billion people around the world tuned into watch Germany and Argentina battle for the World Cup in 2014.

A peak television audience of more than 20 million viewers watched Germany’s extra time win over Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final – the vast majority of them on BBC1.

The 2015 Super Bowl final between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks was the most-watched TV broadcast in US history, with an estimated 114.4 million viewers.

Viewers use a combination of smartphones, tablets and PCs to consume or organise their TV viewing

In Hong Kong, more people actually choose to watch TV and video online rather than on traditional sets. After dinner, one quarter of people tune into content on their digital devices, in contrast to 14% who switch on their TVs.

Mobile and tablet video consumption has also experienced unprecedented growth

Mobile and tablet devices reached 30% of all online video views during Q3 2014, representing a 114% year-over-year increase.

At this rate, Ooyala predicts that mobile and tablet viewing will reach 50% of all online views by late 2015.

Deloitte suggests that short form video has a future, but is not the future of screen-based entertainment

Deloitte predicts that in 2015 total time spent watching short-form (under 20 minutes’ duration) video online will represent under 3% of all video watched on all screens.

Short-form revenues will be about billion: by comparison long-form TV content will generate over billion from advertising and subscription revenues alone.

Television – What does the future hold?

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings believes that, “Over the coming decades and across the world, Internet TV will replace linear TV. Apps will replace channels, remote controls will disappear, and screens will proliferate.”

Ernst & Young see the future of television as a ‘carefully crafted omniscreen experience that combines great content with equally compelling social & gamification techniques tailored to an individual viewers’ stated and implicit preferences’.

Cisco’s Chief Futurist Dave Evans believes, “TV will evolve to the point where you’ll create your own customised dynamic TV guide that you carry with you, an aggregate of multiple inputs: traditional broadcasters like the BBC, but also new online sources, such as BT TV, HBO, Netflix, YouTube.”

For advertisers, these consumption trends offer new opportunities to reach & engage with viewers.

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