According to the seventh edition of Ericsson's (NASDAQ:ERIC) annual "ConsumerLab TV & Media Report," while both mobile video and on-demand TV viewing have soared over the past seven years, content discovery remains a frustration for consumers.
The report indicates that average viewing times on mobile devices has grown by more than 200 hours a year since 2012, driving up overall TV and video viewing by an additional 1.5 hours a week. The surge in mobile viewing is offset with a decline in fixed screen viewing of 2.5 hours a week; however, the appetite for TV and video is not waning.
- Weekly share of time spent watching TV and video on mobile devices has grown by 85% (2010-2016); on fixed screens it has gone down by 14% over the same period.
- 40% of consumers surveyed globally were "very interested" in a mobile data plan that includes unrestricted video streaming.
- In the United States, 20% of mobile viewing is paid-for content using services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
A major issue highlighted by the report is low consumer satisfaction when trying to find something to watch. Some 44% of U.S. consumers surveyed said they can't find anything to watch on linear TV on a daily basis, an increase of 22% compared with last year (36%). In contrast, U.S. consumers spend 45% more time choosing what to watch on VOD services than linear TV.
Some 63% of consumers said they are very satisfied with content discovery when it comes to their VOD service, while only 51% said the same for linear TV. The findings suggest that although the VOD discovery process is more time-consuming than with linear broadcast TV, consumers rate it as less frustrating, as it implicitly promises the opportunity to find something they want to watch, when they want to watch it.
The total viewing time of on-demand content - such as streamed TV series, movies and other TV programs - has increased 50% since 2010. Indicators of growing engagement and satisfaction with VOD services include:
- Consumers continue to embrace binge watching. Some 37% watch two or more episodes of the same show in a row on a weekly basis; more than a fifth say they do this daily.
- Consumer spending on VOD services in the United States has increased by more than 60% since 2012, from $13 to $20 per month.
- 40% of respondents said they watch YouTube daily; 10% of consumers said they watch YouTube for more than three hours a day.
Zeynep Ahmet, senior advisor, Ericsson ConsumerLab, said: "Based on our extensive research, we can see consumers increasingly ask for seamless access to high quality TV and video content, across services and devices. For consumers in general, and Millennials in particular, being able to watch on the smartphone is key. Consumers not only want the shared, social broadcast TV experience, they also expect the flexibility of an à la carte on-demand media offering. Today's experience is multifaceted, and consumers want to create their own worlds of compelling, personalized content."
The report is based on interviews with 30,000 consumers aged 16-69 in 24 countries, as well as supporting data from on-device measurements and qualitative research. All respondents have a broadband Internet connection at home and watch TV and video at least once a week. Almost all use the Internet on a daily basis.