Global Viewers Are Accessing Content in New Ways – and Watching Even More Than Before
How are people around the world using the array of devices and sources available for viewing TV content? We delved into this question in our latest media usage study, TV Matters, in which we spoke to nearly 16,000 people aged 6 to 44 in 16 countries. Here’s what we found:
Globally, people use an average of 10.5 devices to access content. For global teens it’s even higher, at 13.0 devices. The countries using the most devices on average are the US (13.4), Mexico (11.7), Australia (11.5), the UK (11.3) and Sweden (11.3).
Close to 40% of households now have digital streaming devices. Globally, 38% of homes use streaming devices to watch TV content at home. The most common are Chromecast (15%), Apple TV (14%) and Amazon Fire Stick (8%).
More viewers are using internet-enabled devices than 3 years ago. From 2014 to 2017, the percentage of global smartphone users grew from 81% to 83%. Tablets have grown from 52% to 58% over this period and smart TVs rose at an even faster pace, from 30% to 41%.
Meanwhile, fewer are using “one-dimensional” devices. Most people still use non-smart TVs but the percentage of users has fallen from 99% in 2014 to 87% in 2017. Over that same period, desktop PC users declined from 59% to 54%, and DVD users fell from 56% to 45%.
Viewers report that they’re watching more content than a year ago. When asked how their TV viewing compares to a year ago, they were more likely to say they were watching more (29%) than less (19%). Just over half (52%) said they were watching as much as last year. Overall, a total of 81% reported watching at least as much as they were a year ago.
In all countries surveyed, people expressed interest in adding TV services. While overall there is more of a desire to add SVOD services (subscription video on demand, like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video), many would also like to add pay TV (sometimes known as cable TV) if they don’t already have it. Asia and Latin America have especially high interest in subscribing to pay TV.
Services must be easy for consumers to use. When asked to describe different services and platforms, it became clear that they cannot be complicated. If it’s not user-friendly, they won’t use it.
Consumers use different services to fulfill different needs. Pay TV is their go-to service for when they first turn on the TV or want to see a live event. Channel sites and apps are for catching up on missed shows or live streaming when available. SVOD is mainly for binge-watching and having a wide selection of shows to explore. YouTube is for quick and easy bite-size content on the go. Pay TV provider apps allow subscribers to tune in unfettered from their set-top box. And when they can’t find their show by any other means, they’ll pay for access via a service like Google Play or download it illegally via a torrent site.