TV Content Streaming Growing; Pay-TV Adoption Relatively Steady

July 14, 2015

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Asian-American | Hispanic | Pay-TV & Cord-Cutting | Television | TV Audiences & Consumption | Video

TDG-Pay-TV-Netflix-Use-2012-2015-July2015Digital streaming now represents an estimated one-quarter of time spent watching TV, says GfK MRI in recently-released data, closing the gap with live TV, which occupies a leading 39% of all time spent using TV content. Streaming is on par with time-shifting via DVR, which also captures an estimated one-quarter of viewing time, per the report. Interestingly, the study indicates that content viewers are spending almost one-tenth of their TV viewing time streaming through a traditional TV set.

Indeed, when consumers were separately asked about the devices on which they watch TV shows, they estimated spending 28% of their TV time streaming content to various devices:

  • Online streaming through a traditional TV set accounts for 9% of time spent watching TV;
  • Accessing subscription or free online platforms via a computer or mobile device accounts for 16%; and
  • The remaining 3% comes from other methods for accessing content, such as portable game consoles.

In a separate study released earlier this year, Horowitz Research revealed that among adult heads of household who live in urban (population of 50k+) markets, 45% of Black TV viewers, 46% of Asian viewers and 51% of Hispanic viewers spend more than 20% of their total TV viewing time streaming video content to a computer, mobile device, or directly to a TV. By comparison, fewer White viewers – 39% – devoted that much time to over-the-top (OTT) options.

Still, traditional live TV remains consumers’ favorite means of consuming TV viewing, per the GfK study, which also found fewer than one-third of TV viewers reporting having watched a program on a smartphone (30%) or tablet (29%) during the prior 30 days.

Also of note: while streaming continues to gain popularity, it doesn’t appear to be at the expense of pay-TV subscriptions. In a newly-released study, The Diffusion Group (TDG) shows that among US adult broadband users, 84% of Netflix users also use legacy pay-TV, down only slightly from 2012 (87%). The percentage of legacy pay-TV users also using Netflix has grown from 36% to 49% during that same period.

Other research also suggests that subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services aren’t leading to cord-cutting: in February, a separate Horowitz Research survey found that the “overwhelming majority” of multi-platform TV viewers (who have both multichannel service and OTT SVOD services) are unlikely to give up access to broadcast programming even for the new à-la-carte SVOD services.

In other recent related research:

  • Data from Alphonso suggests that Netflix is the #3 broadcast in the US based on audience tune-in; and
  • A MarketingCharts review of Nielsen data indicates that traditional TV viewing time among 18-24-year-olds has dropped by one-third between Q1 2012 and Q1 2015, with half of that decline coming over the past year.

About the Data: GfK’s TV Share of Clock study is based on a re-contact survey conducted from January to April 2015 among 5,599 respondents to GfK MRI’s The Survey of the American Consumer®.

Horowitz Research’s State of Cable & Digital Media: Multicultural Edition is a syndicated consumer survey covering the media behaviors of multicultural consumers. The study was conducted by Horowitz Research in January and February 2015 among 1,994 heads of household 18+ who are TV content viewers in urban (population 50,000+) markets.

Horowitz Research data on multi-platform viewers is based on a survey of more than 2,000 respondents who watch at least an hour of TV content per day and spend more than 20% of their viewing time streaming.

The TDG Research study is based on a survey of 3,428 US adult broadband users.


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