Changing TV Viewing Habits Prompt New Media Purchase Guidelines

TV may still rule as a top form of entertainment and command big advertising money, but consumers are  taking more control of their  tvviewingviewing schedule. In one of the biggest studies of its kind, the Ericcson ConsumerLab TV and Media report shows how consumers are changing their viewing patterns. These findings have implications for marketers who are accustomed to reaching a mass audience through this medium.

One major trend to note is the shift away from linear TV viewing.  At least 63% of consumers are streaming video or using on-​demand features to watch what they want, when they want, more than once a week. About 83% of consumers still watch broadcast TV as scheduled at least once a week but other formats are growing more popular. The majority of consumers are turning to mobile devices to watch video on a weekly basis and they’re also multitasking more while they watch TV.

Even the most dedicated TV viewers, those in the 65–69 year old age group, are exploring alternatives to the linear format. About 41% of consumers in this age group use time-​shifted TV and YouTube  every week. In the past year, 12% of consumers have reduced their pay TV packages and another 11% have eliminated it completely. While consumers want more flexibility in their video entertainment options, they also want simplicity in using services to access their programs.

For now, subscription video on demand (VOD) services remain popular because they are easy to use and share and are relatively inexpensive. On the other hand, consumers aren’t so positive about transaction VOD service. Customers complain about the 24-​hour viewing limit and the high cost.

The following list shows what people want most from TV/​Video:

  •  Ad-​free experience
  • High quality (HD)
  • Time shift/​on demand capability
  • User-​friendly interfaces

However, only 30% are willing to pay for the ad-​free experience. About 35% will pay for HD quality-​viewing and 22% will pay for a la carte TV. Consumers also want a single, easy to use and affordable solution that allows them to tap into their favorite TV and video entertainment. Such a solution is likely a ways off as the key businesses in the industry battle for dominance. In the meantime, marketers must keep a close watch on consumer behavior and shift their messages into formats such as mobile and social in order to connect with heavy viewers of TV and video.


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.