Watching video no longer a TV exclusive

The majority of consumers of all ages in seven major markets around the world are choosing to watch video content over the Internet via their televisions, PCs, smartphones and other electronic devices, according to Accenture’s “Video-Over-Internet Consumer Usage Survey”.

Among 6,500 consumers surveyed, the age spread was:

•    85 percent of participants ages 18 to 24
•    82 percent of participants ages 35 to 44
•    64 percent of participants over the age of 65

“Consumption of video over the Internet is no longer a millennial-generation phenomenon; it’s an activity that crosses all age groups,” said Mark Joseph, Accenture South Africa’s Senior Executive in the Communications and Hi-Tech practice.  “Video over the Internet is well on its way to becoming a mass medium.”

The survey results reveal the diversity of devices consumers are using to access content.

•    92 percent use television
•    75 percent of respondents use a desktop computer
•    72 percent use a laptop
•    63 percent use mobile devices
•    21 percent use tablet computer

Tablet computers, such as iPads are new to the marketplace but according to Accenture research findings, “it is just a question of time before that number climbs significantly”.

“These results suggest a ‘form factor’ challenge when it comes to mobile video viewing,” said Joseph. “With broad access to video across devices with large screens, mobile video viewing will rarely be the first choice among many consumers.”

Viewing Uptick on Non-Traditional Devices

Watching video on non-traditional devices is trending upward.  The survey shows that in the past year, viewing increased on:

•    laptops by 35 percent
•    desktops by 28 percent
•    Internet-enabled TVs by 26 percent

Multi-Tasking

There is no longer a single delivery channel or device that receives the uninterrupted attention of viewers.  81 percent said they multi-task with other devices while watching TV. Of those:

•    48 percent use a laptop while watching
•    41 percent use a mobile device
•    28 percent use a desktop computer

Popular Features

When it comes to choosing their favorite Internet/broadband TV features and functions:

•    40 percent use these to “catch-up” TV that they may have missed
•    14 percent of respondents wish to surf the Web on their televisions
•    11 percent desire interactive and social networking functionality.

“They (viewers) value the ability to watch content anytime, however, they do not necessarily want to surf the web and they see relatively little value in using the TV as a gateway device for other applications,” said Joseph.

Quality is the Great Decider

Although consumers are viewing video on multiple devices, quality rules the day when they consider selecting new services.

•    48 percent identified clarity of picture and speed of content
•    27 percent listed high-definition viewing
•    14 percent chose the ease of user interface
•    11 percent chose ease of recommendation engines

“The biggest frustration consumers currently experience with Internet video is the time required to buffer, download and play a video,” said Joseph.  “One of the major issues providers must anticipate is the ability to handle congestion on the network and perform streaming in such a way as to deliver a high-quality experience.

“Consumers are strongly indicating that they are ready for a true multi-device.  They want an experience where content is important, quality is critical and personalization of the service is a must.”

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Watching video no longer a TV exclusive