‘Bingeing’ is on the rise in ireland; with 1.4 million people watching hours of the their favourite TV series back to back, according to Eircom Household Sentiment Survey (eHSS).
Virtually all Irish adults still prefer to watch live TV on their ‘normal’ TV set, in their own homes, as opposed to out and about on portable devices – according to the study which was released today.
The in-depth, bi-annual nationwide household survey of more than 1,100 Irish people reveals that nine out of 10 adults (91%) still watch TV on their TV set and 92% of that TV is actually watched live (though the perception is that it is less, at 71%). However, the shift to watching live and ‘catch up’ TV on portable devices is happening daily amongst the younger cohort, with half of all 16-34 year olds watching live or “catch up” TV on portable devices, shunning the traditional TV set.
The survey also revealed some other interesting national TV traits and behaviors – with some regional variations – including evidence of a growing trend towards “TV Bingeing” (i.e. watching several hours of the same programme, back to back, in a single sitting). Dubliners are by far the biggest TV bingers, with 51% of Dubliners guilty of the habit versus 36% of respondents outside the capital. This “TV bingeing” is facilitated by a myriad of different services – the most popular of which is catch up players at 37%, followed closely by Netflix at 33% and pre-recorded programmes at 31%. Internet downloads (27%) and rented DVDs (19%) also feature, albeit further down the list – once again showing how technology has evolved over the last number of years.
A large proportion of us believe there are some programmes that simply have to be watched live – including the news at 61%, followed by sports at 51% and the weather at 42%.While a quarter of the people surveyed have downloaded a movie or series to watch on a portable device, most of these (86%) were actually watched at home.
The findings of the latest eHSS survey show ‘lifelogging’ (i.e. quantifying our behaviour with the help of technology to increase self-knowledge through self-tracking) is becoming more popular, with exercise the most dominant way to “lifelog”. Already, a third of the population who exercise said they prefer to have some kind of tech aid for exercise. While currently 66% of the population is aware of these devices (e.g. pedometers) and only 12% actually use them currently, this is a trend that seems destined to grow. One in three people who currently don’t use a device to ‘life-log’ said they are interested in doing so in the future; while three out of five of those using devices to track progress or achieving goals admitted to getting a buzz from “rewarding notifications” and finding them motivational.
The survey indicates really significant growth in digital devices in the average home in just 12 months – with 85% of adults now having access to a potential online device that can be used ‘on the go’ – representing a significant increase from 79% the same time last year.
The average number of potential “on the go” devices in the home has also increased from three to four in the same 12 months; with the average rising to six amongst the younger cohort ( i.e. the 16 – 24 year olds).
The smartphone unsurprisingly topped the poll of the devices that people felt they couldn’t live without for a week, followed by the TV set, then broadband and finally home computers.
Tablet ownership almost doubled in the last twelve months – up from 25% to 41% – a staggering increase in such as short space of time. eircom expects this tablet ownership to grow further this year, with potentially 1.8 million adults owning a tablet by the end of the year. Smartphone ownership itself has increased 11% in the same amount of time, with 64% of respondents (2.2 million people) now claiming to own a smartphone
The survey shines a light on what people use technology for in the home and the sheer pace of growth year on year. 66% (1.9 million) are using online media; 47% (1.6 million) now shop on line; 42% (718,000) of workers check their email from home and 19% (674,000) game online
In terms of the changing social media landscape, the survey shows that rate of change in social media is continuing, as some sites become popular while others lose their lustre. Snapchat is one of the biggest growth areas now, with a staggering 60% of all 16-24 year olds now using it, compared to only 37% using it a year ago.
Clinical Psychologist David Coleman, who has worked with eircom since the first eHSS in 2012, said he was particularly interested in the reflection of the role of TV in Irish households and the growth of ‘life-logging’ which this survey reveals.
Looking at the results, David said: “Watching live TV on a traditional TV set is still the norm for most Irish adults up and down the country, as people relax and unwind the old-fashioned way. However, that is also juxtaposed with a whole new TV phenomenon – the rise of “TV bingeing” – which is symptomatic of people’s busy lifestyles and their desire to choose what they want to see, how they want it and when they want it.
“Another interesting outcome of the survey is the phenomenon of life-logging or the “quantified self” – as people become more and more keen to self-track their behaviours and activities through technology – mainly as a way of goal setting and motivation. I think people measure themselves as part of their goal setting and to increase their motivation, but there is also the risk that when we measure ourselves frequently that we become solely focused on performance and outcomes.”
Commenting on the survey, Lisa Comerford, Consumer Marketing Director, eircom, added: “The eHSS gives us unprecedented and genuine insights into what Irish consumers want from their technology – and it very much mirrors what we see on the ground and underpins the new services we offer, such as eVision Video on demand which was launched last week. Understanding what consumers want to do, in and outside the home enables us to provide services like our superfast fibre broadband as we know the internet is now being accessed daily everywhere–almost two thirds of the us (69%) access the internet once a day or more while nearly all (96%) of 16 – 24 year olds are going online once – or more – every single day”.