TV and video watching hits all-time high as viewers take to smartphones

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Television and video watching is now at an all-time high of 30 hours per week as consumers increasingly take to their mobile devices, according to global research into TV and media habits.

The eighth edition of Ericsson’s annual ConsumerLab TV and Media report, draws on data collected from 13 countries and approximately 20,000 online interviews to forecast that amid soaring growth, video-on-demand viewing will be almost equal with traditional linear TV viewing in just three years.

Also reflecting changing consumption habits, the report forecasts that 50% of all TV and video viewing around the globe will take place on a mobile screen (smartphones, tablets and laptops) by 2020, up 85% since 2010.

Virtual reality, meanwhile, continues its path to the mainstream, with the report forecasting that one in three consumers will become users of the technology by 2020.

Anders Erlandsson, a senior advisor at Ericsson ConsumerLab senior advisor, said in a statement this is the first time the report has tracked consumer VR interest in conjunction with media consumption.

“VR has the potential to bring together people from all over the world and create deeper, more personalised and more complementary media experiences,” he observed.

“As consumer expectations for on-demand, mobile and immersive viewing continues to increase, the TV and media industry must focus on delivering highly personalised services in the very best possible quality available.”

According to the report, close to 60% of viewers now prefer on-demand viewing over scheduled linear viewing, up by around 50% since 2010, with the average number of used on-demand services increasing from 1.6 per person in 2012 to 3.8 in 2017.

Two in five consumers already pay for on-demand TV and video services, while 32% say they will increase their on-demand spending in the next 6 to 12 months.

Approximately 70% of consumers now watch videos on a smartphone. This accounts for a fifth of total TV and video viewing, and is double the amount that were doing so in 2012.

Meanwhile, amid ever-expanding content options, consumers are faced with discovery challenges, with the average time spent searching for content having increased to almost one hour per day, up 13% year-on-year.

Six in 10 consumers ranked content discovery as “very important” when subscribing to a new service, and 70% want “universal search for all TV and video”.

The report is based on online interviews with people aged between 16 and 69 in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK and the US.

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