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More than three-quarters of people in several countries across the world believe that their video viewing habits will change in the coming 5 years. That’s according to the latest TV and Media Report [pdf] from Ericsson ConsumerLab, which surveyed roughly 20,000 people in 13 countries ages 16-69 who watch TV or video at least once a week and have a broadband internet connection at home.

VR Viewing to Accelerate

The change that most people see coming is watching TV in virtual reality, as if they are inside the content. (Never mind Facebook’s recent face-palm moment, showcasing its VR application by using video of Puerto Rico after the hurricane and saying that it’s “magical” to “get the feeling you’re really in a place.”)

The report’s authors argue that virtual reality could “reignite the campfire experience of TV.” How so? While VR users are more likely to engage in various activities alone, many are doing so together with others in VR.

For example, among VR users, 41% are watching movies and TV programs together with others, as do 33% with sports content.

Most VR users believe they’ll increase or at least maintain their current levels of video viewing over the next 5 years, whether alone or together with others.

Video Time to Increase?

In other expected changes to their video diets, more respondents expect to spend more time watching video over the next 5 years (25%) than to spend less time doing so (18%).

How that time will be spent is likely to change: 27% feel that they’ll watch more 360 degree video content, while 20% expect not to watch any scheduled linear TV anymore at that time.

Now those expectations may prove a little aggressive: back in 2013 a consumer survey found a majority of respondents expecting pay-TV subscribers to be in the minority by 2018. That clearly isn’t happening…

Nonetheless, there’s still appetite for the TV screen: just 6% say they won’t watch on a big TV screen anymore. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be watching linear TV: indeed, Millennials gravitating away from traditional TV seem to be replacing that time with TV-connected devices, per separate research.

Currently, while respondents in the aggregate estimate spending 42% of their time watching on-demand as opposed to live and scheduled linear viewing, that figure jumps to 54% among 16-19-year-olds.

More Watch on Mobile

About 7 in 10 respondents now report watching videos on a smartphone – a figure that has doubled in the past 5 years as smartphone penetration has broadened.

In fact, when segmenting the TV and video population into 6 groups, Ericsson ConsumerLab indicates that the “Mobility Centric” group has been the fastest-rising in recent years, and now easily outnumbers the “TV Couch Traditionalist” segment.

By 2020, Ericsson ConsumerLab forecasts that half of all TV and video viewing will occur on a mobile device, with one-quarter overall on a smartphone.

The full report can be accessed here [pdf].

About the Data: The report is based on roughly 20,000 online interviews held with people aged 16”“69 in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK and the US.

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