Watching TV’s Still A Social Experience For Almost Everyone

November 20, 2017

As the media landscape continues to fragment and people watch video across more devices, there’s a tendency to think of TV viewing as having lost its standing as a campfire experience. But a new study from the IAB [pdf] calls that into question, finding that virtually all video viewers have watched content with others.

Based on a survey of more than 1,220 video viewers ages 13-64, the IAB found that 94% do some co-viewing on a screen of some sort during the typical week.

Co-viewing is most common on TVs, with 93% having watched video content with friends and/or family members on a TV screen. The content source doesn’t seem to have an impact: at least 9 in 10 have co-viewed when watching on-demand, OTT (93%) and linear TV (96%) on a TV screen.

Nonetheless, video viewers are most likely to watch linear TV (72%) with others on a weekly basis. Fewer than half co-view OTT (47%), video-on-demand (34%) and DVR’d content (31%) with that frequency.

Given that the TV screen is the dominant one for video viewing – including an increasing amount of TV Everywhere and premium digital video – co-viewing should be here to stay. (One recent study argued that virtual reality viewing could also “reignite the campfire experience of TV.”)

Co-viewing, meanwhile, also occurs on digital devices: roughly half of the survey’s respondents, for example, reported having co-viewed content on a smartphone – though presumably that’s not long-form content…

Separately, a YuMe study of family households with connected TVs also finds that they typically watch programming together as a family.

An Opportunity For Brands?

Advertisers will be happy to hear that co-viewers seem comfortable discussing the products and brands they see when watching video with others. This seems to be the case especially when co-viewing OTT rather than live TV, with many claiming to be more likely to talk about the products and brands they see and change minds (theirs or someone else’s) about a brand.

The increased likelihood of engaging in such brand-related actions when co-viewing OTT rather than linear TV may be related to viewers’ attention. While 34% professed to paying most or all of their attention to ads when co-viewing on live TV, that figure jumped to 43% among those co-viewing on OTT.

Quick Facts About Co-Viewing

  • Men, Millennials, Hispanics, and parents with kids in the household over-index in OTT co-viewing.
  • Video viewers most commonly co-view with their family, led by spouses and partners and followed by children, parents and siblings. Fewer than one-fifth co-view with roommates and friends. Co-viewing incidence with children is higher for the OTT than linear TV platform.
  • Co-viewers generally watch with 2 other people in a given week and consider it more fun than watching alone.
  • Co-viewers on OTT and linear TV are most apt to watch movies together, though the choice of content is dependent on who the companion is. Co-viewing of children’s content and animation is higher on OTT than on linear TV, consistent with higher co-viewing with kids on that platform.

Explore More Articles.

Marketing Charts Logo

Stay on the cutting edge of marketing.

Sign up for our free newsletter.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This