The survey of consumers in the US and UK revealed more than three-quarters watch online video every week, and there are significant differences in video adoption by age and gender. While just over half of all consumers watched more than two hours of online video per week, 68% of Millennials do so. There is also a significant disparity by gender, with more than 58% of men watching more than 2 hours per week, compared to less than 45% of women.
The research also shows viewers prefer watching TV shows to other types of online content. Respondents ranked television shows as the top type of content they watch online, followed closely by original content/YouTube, and movies. Millennials prefer to watch TV shows and movies online, while people over 60 primarily watch original content/YouTube and news.
High prices continue to be the most important factor influencing whether consumers will cut the cord with cable or pay-TV providers, with 41 percent citing price increases as the primary reason they would abandon their subscription. However, 24 percent of respondents said they would cut the cord when they could directly subscribe to the channels they want online. Access to sports and other live events is a significant concern for Millennial males, with 20 percent saying they would not cut the cord until more live content becomes available online, compared to just eight percent of the population as a whole.
“Consumers – in particular younger generations – are increasingly turning to online streaming to access video content,” said Michael Milligan, senior director at Limelight Networks.
“As adoption continues on mobile devices, expectations are for high-quality video anywhere, any time, on any device.”
Additional key findings from the research include: Americans are far more likely to pay for online streaming than British viewers: More than 68% of US respondents subscribe to a video on demand service, with 34% subscribing to more than one service. Less than half (48%) of UK respondents subscribe to an online video service, with only 16 percent subscribing to multiple services. In the U.S. people are far more likely to use a streaming device with 72 percent doing so compared to 65% of the respondents in the UK.
Smartphones continue to grow in popularity for online viewing: Although a computer or laptop remains the most common device for online video viewing, their use has been shrinking while smartphone usage continues to grow. For Millennials, smartphones are already the primary device for watching online video.
Consumers expect a high-quality online video experience and are frustrated with buffering: More than half of consumers think buffering is the most frustrating aspect of watching online video. Nearly half of respondents (46%) will stop watching a video after the second time it buffers, and 78% will stop if it buffers three times.