Accenture Study Reveals Changing TV Viewing Habits

David Murphy

Consumers are growing increasingly disenchanted with their overall TV experience but are nonetheless remaining remarkably loyal to their favourite programmes, according to results from Accenture's inaugural Global Broadcast Consumer Survey, which quizzed approximately, 1,000 consumers in six countries - France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US and around 500 each in Mexico and Brazil, Accenture conducted the survey to analyze how people in multiple global markets consume and respond to broadcast content, and how they are adapting to the new content delivery methods.
The survey found that although television remains the predominant mass communications device worldwide, with 97% of respondents watching TV in a typical week, consumption patterns vary based on a number of factors including geography, age and socio-economic status. While some 70% of consumers watch four or more television programs a week, 71% of them watch programmes on four or more television channels.
Accenture says this channel-hopping demonstrates that consumers are more loyal to the content they want to watch rather than the branded distribution channel to which they may be accustomed. This affords an opportunity for content creators, studios and networks to begin delivering content to consumers on multiple channels and through multiple devices, creating new ways to interact with consumers, and entirely new revenue streams.
David Wolf, a Senior Executive with Accentures Media & Entertainment practice, believes the research suggests that TV is rapidly shifting from its origins as a clearly-identifiable stand-alone medium.
People are experiencing new consumption opportunities and moving away from traditional, linear programming, says Wolf. And age has become the leading indicator of these new behavioral preferences, with consumers under 35 years old clearly the best indicator of these impending changes and future broadcast consumption patterns. Todays youth are more dissatisfied with the traditional television experience and increasingly excited by the availability of new choices.
The study found that in the US, 46% of 18-24 year-olds view content via mobile devices; but there is considerably less interest among those 55 and older (19%). According to Wolf, this dramatic behavioural shift represents the beginnings of a wave of change that will ultimately transform the content production and distribution marketplace worldwide. He says:
The under 35-year-old group is more likely to watch content on alternative devices, more likely to be familiar with On Demand TV, prefers watching content on demand and is more willing to pay to download content. User-generated content ranks highly on mobile, reflecting the expanding photo and video capabilities of mobile handsets and the potential for easy sharing either face-to-face or via messaging.
The survey findings underscore the fact that consumers throughout the world today have more power and control than ever before in terms of what to watch, when to watch it, and on what device. In todays digital environment, says Accenture, the definition of what constitutes TV and its intended purpose is getting increasingly blurred, as ambitious new entrants, channels and new interactive capabilities flood in from all sides.
The study found that 0ne in three adults in the eight countries surveyed access programmes via an alternative device in a typical week, with Italy (41%), France (36%) and Spain (35%) the highest, while Brazil is the lowest at 17%.
Theres more information on Accentures Global Broadcast Consumer Survey here.