OTT changing viewer habits

Consumers in the United States and the UK are increasingly turning to broadband-delivered video services to supplement their cable and satellite viewing.

Accenture’s Pulse of Media Consumer Survey found 49% of those surveyed are viewing over-the-top video through a broadband connection on their TV. In the US the figure is 50%, while in the UK it is 48%.

Consumers are also said to be viewing content on mobile devices, creating video playlists, posting videos on social media. Social networks are also an increasing source of information about new TV shows, illustrating the importance of services like Zeebox.

“We are seeing a seismic shift in consumer viewing habits,” said Robin Murdoch, a managing director in Accenture’s Media & Entertainment industry group. “The connected consumer is now comfortable viewing TV shows and video on a variety of screens, as well as sharing opinions of that content via social channels or recommendation engines.”

Unsurprisingly it is the younger consumer that is first to embrace the new delivery mechanisms. In the US, 82% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 24 watch some OTT video, with 60% watching at least a quarter of their video over-the-top (compared to 32% of US consumers overall). In the UK, 75% of consumers in that age group watch some OTT, with 54% watching at least 25 percent (compared with 28 percent of overall consumers) in this manner.

Accenture says 49% of consumers are now subscribing to a range of video delivery services, suggesting OTT video consumption has grown at an astonishing rate since last measured by Accenture in March 2011 at 8%. Subscription and access levels to such services are now on a par with satellite among those surveyed.

It should be noted that the research was conducted online, where there is likely to be a greater acceptance of broadband-delivered video.

In the U.K., 26 percent of those surveyed subscribe to or access OTT services like Netflix, LoveFilm, or BBC’s iPlayer on TV services, or Sky Go/Now TV from Sky, compared with 30% to satellite. (Sky Go is of course available free to Sky satellite subscribers)

The survey also probed consumers’ willingness to pay for content and found that more than one-third (36%) would be willing to pay to see a favorite show continue. Of that group, 18 percent indicated they would pay £10 or more, and half (50 percent) would pay £1-£4. Younger consumers were more willing to contribute to the cause with nearly three-quarters (72%) of 18-24 year-olds in the US and more than half (54%) of the respondents in the UK.