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TVNewsCheck/Playout, Apr 16, 2014, 8:06 AM EDT
U.S. Adults Still Prefer Live TV Viewing, Study Finds
Apr 16, 2014, 7:03 AM EDT by Frank Beacham
Linear (scheduled) television is still overwhelmingly the preferred method for watching TV, with 84% of U.S. adults who watch television, opting to tune in live for their favorite programs and events, a new study by BroadStream Solutions has found.
The findings additionally revealed that very few Americans want to watch on smaller screens with only 1 in 50 (2%) preferring to watch on tablet devices; 1 in 50 (2%) on mobile phones; 1 in 25 (4%) on desktops and 1 in 14 (7%) on laptops.
“The range of services and options now available to consumers certainly gives them the opportunity to consume TV content in new ways, but the focal point of the living room is still the TV,” said Manish Sachdeva, CEO of BroadStream Solutions.
“Americans are still getting together with family and friends to watch TV more than any other viewing option, with 81% opting to sit around the TV to watch. Another eight percent will choose to watch TV in their living room, but are also watching other programs on their mobile or tablet devices — signaling that the second screen is still just a complimentary device.”
As part of the detailed report, BroadStream commissioned research firm YouGov to study how the television consumption habits of Americans have evolved over the past decade, finding that while behaviors may have shifted in how content is viewed, uptake across new technologies and devices is still quite low.
In the past year, 7 in 10 (71%) Americans have watched live TV; while only 26% have watched a video on demand service (i.e., digital video recorder/DVR) from their cable provider; 34% have watched an on-demand Internet streaming service (i.e., Netflix;) and only 9% have used a digital media playing service (i.e., Apple TV.)
Furthermore, Americans are watching virtually as much live TV as they were 10 years ago, but viewing experiences in the last decade have changed to accompany new devices.
Today, 82% of Americas are watching live television, compared to 83% 10 years ago (-1%). While consumption has increased across mobile phones, laptops and desktops, the numbers are still quite low as compared to common industry belief.
“What many in the broadcast industry have forget regarding linear TV is that everything evolves from traditional, scheduled playout — consumers record shows from it and there is no DVR without it,” said Sachdeva. “Linear TV is also a primary source of cost and revenue for almost all broadcasters. While over-the-top services like Netflix are creating their own content, the bulk of the content these services offer still comes from traditional broadcasters and started life as a scheduled TV broadcast.”