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TiVo How Viewers Discover New TV Shows and Movies July2020As many people will testify, a common topic of water cooler conversion is what people have been watching on TV – though the decline of linear TV has dampened that trend in recent years. And as lockdown measures became commonplace in 2020, fewer found out about new TV shows from word-of-mouth, as revealed in a recent report [download page] from TiVo. Unchanged is that ease of use and discovery of new content are shown to be as important as ever to a great viewing experience.

When it comes to finding out about what to watch next, the majority of the consumers surveyed (all of whom had at least one monthly subscription service) discover content through commercials or ads that run during other TV shows (55%). In Q1 2020, slightly fewer (49%) reported finding new content via word-of-mouth, compared to 52.5% in 2019. Social media is the next most common discovery method (33.5%), followed by the 1 in 5 discovering shows via news articles or stories, though this latter figure is down from last year.

The percentage discovering new content via pay-TV or live TV provider suggestions has remained fairly stable, at around 1 in 6. Even though not everyone takes advantage of these forms of recommendations, viewers are increasingly aware of them. Three in 10 are aware that their pay-TV or live TV provider makes personalized recommendations, up from one-quarter last year.

For advertisers, the difference in viewing behavior may be of interest in terms of their advertising strategy. Those watching pay-TV are much more likely to describe themselves as channel surfers (66.1%), rather than watching TV as a complementary activity while they multitask (9.2%) or as a “precision viewer” where they already have a particular video or show in mind (15.4%). The situation is very different for those using free streaming services, where around 1 in 3 (35.8%) say they are channel surfers, compared to 14.9% being complimentary viewers and 47.9% being precision viewers.

Read more in the full report here.

About the Data: Results are based on a Q1 2020 survey of 4,367 adults (18+) from the US and Canada.

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