TV still most popular for viewing says survey

TVs are not going anywhere, just yet.

by Andy Bassett Mar 14, 2019 at 10:13 PM

  • In a survey, commissioned by Nevion, the global network technologies company based in Norway, a number of interesting facts about viewing habits emerged, not least the fact that most of us still like to watch programmes on our TVs, as they are broadcast.
    The current technological landscape for TV content broadcasting and consumption provides more choice for where, when and how viewers experience their entertainment than ever before. The worldwide survey of viewers of OTT (Over-The-Top better known as ‘internet TV' or 'streaming services) and live TV (programmes that are watched as they are broadcast) showed that, despite the prevalence of numerous device types, over two thirds of viewers (70%) watched the majority of programmes using a television. Only 20% of consumers used a laptop to regularly view content.

    This is likely to be heard as encouraging news for world’s electronics corporations who have TV divisions all pushing TV sets with more and more new technologies such as 8K resolution (and associated upscaling processes), Artificial Intelligence to automatically deliver the best image and audio experience, and dynamic HDR whereby all the details in the different areas of brightness on screen are delivered, being just a few among many.

    A notable move away from TV viewing to viewing on mobile or other devices could have a significant impact on sales of new TVs at a time when the likes of LG are attempting to expand their OLED TV market.

    So what other conclusions did the survey deliver? According to the Nevion website, only 10% of viewers actively choose a free to air service (such as Freeview in the UK), with 65% of consumers preferring a paid for subscription service or Pay-TV platform. This demonstrates just how much people’s perception of what a modern TV service should look like has changed and the fact that such a high percentage of the public are prepared to pay supports plans by companies such as Apple, Disney, Criterion and the BBC to roll out their subscription streaming services in the coming months.

    Traditional viewing habits come to the fore again when looking at the time of day that people consume content. 71% of viewers mainly consume media in the evening compared to 8% in the morning and a mere 3% while commuting. This last figure is surprising given the marketing of so many mobile devices with content friendly displays sporting technologies such as OLED screens and HDR compatibility. It seems people are just not in the mood for an episode of ‘The Crown’ first thing in the morning.

    Social media has had an impact on viewing habits, with 57% of viewers feeling that they have to watch live content before social media impacts on the experience due to spoilers and speculation. Interestingly, over a quarter of live broadcast viewers turn to this method of viewing because of frustrations over streaming quality.

    Despite the rise of on-demand services, live content is still favored by the majority of people with 73% of our sample deeming live coverage important. With so many still using their televisions to view this content and with avoiding spoilers being a major concern, it is clear that TV viewing is still often seen as an event. People want to sit down and watch it on a big screen and dedicate real time to it, rather than watching on their phone while they’re on the go,” said Olivier Suard, Vice President of Marketing, Nevion.

    Unsurprisingly, large scale sporting events are the largest draw for watching live TV followed by news, reality shows and domestic or global events, such as royal weddings or births.

    Suard went to conclude, “It proves higher-definition production isn’t being wasted on small screens as most people watch content on a TV, where it is best displayed – regardless of whether the connection is cable, digital TV or OTT.”

    Despite the potential for fragmentation of viewing habits across so many different devices and locations, the Nevion survey points to the fact that a TV is still a central hub for friends and family to gather round and come together in a shared experience, as important now as it was when we were gathering around cave fires, sharing stories.


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