Mobile Viewing and VOD Services Skyrocketing

Key findings from Ericsson ConsumerLab’s “TV and Media 2016” show that massive growth in mobile viewing has led to an increase since 2012 of 1.5 hours a week that the average consumer globally spends watching TV and video. This is the sum total of an increase in viewing on mobile devices by four hours and a decrease in viewing on fixed screens of 2.5 hours.

Ericsson found that the number of mobile-centric  users—those individuals who primarily use their mobile screens for all TV/video consumption besides broadcast—has increased by 300 percent since 2010.

Although some viewing time has shifted from paid broadcast to unpaid mobile, according to the report, consumers are using 20 percent of this extra mobile viewing time to watch paid-for premium content. Even with new market entrants taking a piece of the pie, paid scheduled linear TV services continue to account for about half of the average household media spending, although the portion of total viewing hours has decreased by 16 percent since 2010.

Meanwhile, on-demand viewing increased by 50 percent, and now makes up 43 percent of all active viewing. Millennials are the group most interested in video streaming capabilities. User-generated content (UGC) viewing by these 16-34 year olds is especially engaging; they spend almost 2.5 hours more each week watching streamed on-demand UGC, compared to 35-69 year olds. At the same time, millennials spend almost four hours less each week viewing live and linear broadcasted content than do 35-69 year olds.

Taking both trends into account, it’s no surprise that millennials, at 46 percent, are the demographic most interested in a mobile data plan that includes unlimited video streaming—compared to 40 percent of global consumers.

Even though searching for what they want to watch on video-on-demand (VOD) services can be time-consuming (45 percent more time-consuming!), 63 percent of consumers are “very satisfied” with VOD  service, while only 51 percent feel the same way about their scheduled linear TV provider. Apparently, the extra time it takes to find desired content is acceptable because VOD enables consumers to watch what they want when they want.

Compared to 44 percent of broadcast TV viewers—who spend 23 minutes each day trying to find something to watch—only 34 percent of VOD viewers say they cannot find anything to watch.

Dollars talk, and consumers are spending 60 percent more on VOD services than they did four years ago; average spending has increased from $13 to $20 per month.

Consumers are clearly showing that they like and expect on-demand media options. Yet, the Ericsson study indicates that scheduled TV services will continue to play an important role in tomorrow’s increasingly complex media environment, as they continue to attract consumers through a shared social experience, relaxing lean-back viewing and instant access to live content.

Nevertheless, to stay competitive, traditional providers should proactively look to satisfy the desire of consumers for flexibility in accessing quality for money (think add-on aspects).  Offering services that host more attributes than ever before, such as on-demand and mobile TV and video, will put you in good stead with consumers of the future.