Consumers intend to buy fewer televisions this year and fewer are regularly watching content on them, according to a new Accenture survey.
Consumers are rapidly turning to other consumer electronics devices such as smartphones and tablet computers to view media, while also using more online services and downloading applications for various purposes, including entertainment.
The annual Consumer Electronics Trends Study found that the percentage of consumers watching broadcast or cable TV in a typical week on televisions fell from 71% in 2009 to 48% in 2011. Consistent with this, the age of consumers who intend to buy a TV set during the next 12 months declined from 35% in 2010 to 32% in 2011.
“The battle for consumers’ eyeballs and time is intensifying, viewership continues to disperse, and we are starting to see the impact on the TV as a screen in the home,” said Mitch Cline, global managing director of Accenture’s Electronics & High-Tech Group.
“Craving an always-on, always-connected lifestyle, consumers increasingly are using other consumer electronics devices in their daily lives to access the entertainment that only TV once provided. While consumers will no doubt continue to buy TVs, consumers’ preferences are shifting. They are rapidly substituting other screens, such as laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones, to view media content.”
The research uncovered soaring growth in use of smartphones and tablets as consumers increasingly value mobility. More than half (53%) of survey respondents own a smartphone, up from 28% in 2010. Ownership of tablets climbed to 12% in 2011 from 8% in 2010. When consumers were asked about plans to purchase consumer electronics devices in 2011 and 2012, the story remained consistent.
The percentage of respondents who plan to purchase a smartphone rose from 24% to 27%; for tablets, the percentage jumped from 8% to 16%. These consumer electronics devices are increasingly being used for entertainment purposes. For example, 44% of tablet owners stream media content, and 43% download applications at least once per week.
More than half (56%) of the survey respondents indicated they have changed their behaviours due to online services and cloud computing. Nearly one-third (32%) have stopped, or almost stopped, renting or buying DVDs; one-fourth (25%) share more personal content with family and friends; and 19% access their personal content from more devices than before.
Three-fourths (75%) use an online mailbox, 37% play online games, and 26% stream media content. The younger generation (18-34 year olds) are even heavier uses of online services, with almost half (47%) playing online games and more than a third (36%) streaming media content.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents indicated they download apps, usually from consumer electronics device manufacturers and software providers’ application stores. More than two-thirds (69%) use information applications (news, weather and sports); 58% use networking applications (social/professional networking); and more than half (56%) use entertainment applications (music, single or group games, and videos).
Respondents were asked what would make them more inclined to buy a TV. More than half (55%) indicated they would purchase a television if the price was within their budget; 42% indicated a television with high-definition resolution was an important consideration.
Only a quarter (25%) cited 3D functionality as a desired capability of a new TV. Likewise, one-quarter (25%) indicated they would be more predisposed to buying a TV if it offered the ability to connect to the web to access the Internet and personal content.
The full 2012 Accenture Consumer Electronics Trends Study can be downloaded from Accenture’s website.