Global TV Viewing Growing Across All Platforms: Accenture Study

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There was some good news for both broadcast and cable TV in a new global TV consumption survey, released Monday as the National Association of Broadcasters opened its annual convention in Las Vegas.

Viewing of all media content, including TV, is growing "across all platforms," according to global consulting firm Accenture's second "Global Broadcast Consumer Survey," which polled at least 1,000 viewers in each of 13 countries, including the U.S.

Accenture found the most signficant conclusion to be that despite audience fragmentation, interest in content on traditional TV platforms is growing.

But interest is also growing in other plaftorms. The number of people whjo said they would watch TV on a computer increased from 61% in the initial survey to 74% this time around. Interest in viewing on mobile devices was up from 32% in 2008 to 45% in 2009.

One finding suggested there could be a big growth market in mobile content in developing countries. Interest in mobile content in Mexico, Brazil and Malaysia -- up from 65% to 71% interested -- was almost three times that of the U.S. UK, or Germany (ranging from 22% to 26%).

Subscription services like cable continue to be strong despite the weak economy, Accenture said. According to the survey, 49% said they would be willing to pay for digital programming, up from 37% last year. Only 4 in 10 said they would prefer to watch ads in exchange for getting their content free.

Subscription models also topped pay-per-play in all age groups, with 25% indicating they would pay a fee for unlimited programming, while only 12% want to pay per episode and just 9% would prefer pay per season.

Younger viewers are more willing to pay for content -- 60% for those under 25 compared to 38% for those 55 and older. Interestingly, kids are also more willing to watch ads and get free content (45%) than those in the older set (37%).

And while respondents said they planned to pay less for most content --DVDs, down 6% from last year; on-demand video, down 5 points; and mobile phone content down 3 -- subsription TV showed no change.

"This underscores the recession-resistant nature of subscripion models even in today's tough economic climate," said Accenture executive David Wolf in announcing the study.

And fear not broadcast promotion departments. According to the study, you are more valuable than ever. In a world of fragmented choices, finding the one you want is increasingly tough, said the survey respondents. Despite online and on-screen program guids, the top choice for figuring out what to watch was "commercials" (40%), followed by channel surfing (33%), recommendations from others (30%) and TV listings only 28%.

The survey was conducted in January and February of this year. Accenture polled almost 14,000 consumers 18-plus in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany. Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Singapore, SPain, the UK, and U.S.

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