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Digital video content supplements TV programming in the US: CEA study

MUMBAI: While the vast majority (79 per cent) of online US adults obtain the video content they watch from traditional television programming providers such as cable, satellite or fibre-to-the-home, a significant number of viewers are turning to other sources, according to research released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
The study, ‘Video Content Discovery and Purchasing Trends’, explores video content viewing behaviour, discovery, acquisition and format ownership preferences.

Video content behaviour: In addition to traditional television programming, DVD/Blu-ray discs (66 per cent), free video streaming services (47 per cent) and paid video streaming services (37 per cent) are also common sources of video content. While online video streaming is more common among younger consumers aged 18–34, use of traditional television programming is consistent for most age groups, suggesting that these emerging online services are being used in addition to—rather than instead of—traditional television programming.

CEA senior analyst Kevin Tillmann said, “Access to faster internet speeds and dramatic advances in mobile technology have changed the face of video content delivery and consumption. However, digital content is not necessarily a substitute for traditional content sources, but instead an additional source from which US consumers can quench their insatiable thirst for video content.”
While more than half (53 per cent) of consumers say they skip commercials, traditional television programming is critical to the discovery of new video content, for both movies and TV shows.

The sources consumers use most frequently to discover new movies are channel surfing (44 per cent), on-screen programme guides (44 per cent), previews at the movie theatres (39 per cent), commercials on TV (39 per cent) and word of mouth (37 per cent).

The leading ways consumers discover TV shows are channel surfing (50 per cent), on-screen programme guides (47 per cent), TV commercials (47 per cent), word of mouth (34 per cent) and network websites such as NBC or CBS (27 per cent).

Physical vs digital formats: DVD/Blu-ray discs are often preferred over digital downloads because consumers indicate they like owning a physical product (52 per cent) and the ability to watch using their DVD/Blu-ray player (50 per cent). However, over three-fourths (77 per cent) of online consumers own at least some digital video content. The top reasons for choosing digital content include the ability to access it from anywhere (36 per cent), ease of storage (35 per cent), price (32 per cent), instant access to content (32 per cent) and the ability to watch on an internet-connected device (27 per cent).

Physical formats are critical when it comes to movies as most consumers who watch movies obtain them on a DVD or Blu-ray disc. Three-fourths (74 per cent) purchase, rent or receive their movies on these physical formats, while only 24 per cent acquire them via digital download.

Top devices for watching streaming or downloaded video content: Laptops (52 per cent), desktop PCs (44 per cent) and HDTVs (40 per cent) are the most commonly used devices for watching streamed or downloaded video content. A third of consumers view video content on smartphones (32 per cent) and tablets (31 per cent), according to CEA.