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NEWS14 April 2015

Decline in traditional TV viewing accelerates

News North America

US — Video consumption has become mainstream and is accelerating the decline of traditional TV viewing, according to a report from Accenture.

Viewership for long-form video content, such as movies and television on a TV screen, declined by 13% globally over the past year. Declines were also noted in a category previously thought to be relatively immune from the trend: sports viewership on TV screens declined by 10% globally.

While the trend was evident across all age brackets, it was most pronounced among younger people. 14-17 year olds were reported to be abandoning the TV screen at a rate of 33% for movies and TV programmes, and 26% for sporting events.

“We are seeing a definitive pendulum shift away from traditional TV viewing,” said Gavin Mann, Accenture’s global broadcast industry lead. “TV shows and movies are now a viewing staple on mobile devices of all shapes and sizes, thanks to improved streaming and longer battery life. The second screen viewing experience is where the content creators, broadcasters and programmers will succeed or fail.”

The Digital Video and the Connected Consumer report gathered views from 24,000 consumers across 24 countries.

@RESEARCH LIVE

1 Comment

5 years ago

TV is certainly changing; its future has arrived after years of knocking at the door. But this is very misleading research from Accenture with vastly inflated, flawed or confusing figures. One reason for this is that Accenture conducted an online survey of claimed behaviour. They asked an unrepresentative sample (20% of the UK isn’t online, the same will be true in other countries) to volunteer what they think they do and published it as fact. There was only ever going to be one result. Accenture thinks people are falling out of love with TV sets. If you look at the actual data for the UK, it is clear that TV sets are not in peril. According to BARB, the average amount of time per person spent using TV sets in H2 2014 was 4 hours, 14 mins a day. In H2 2013 it was 4 hours, 10 mins (this is the only year on year comparison of total TV set use we have). This is hardly an apocalypse. The vast majority of this time was watching TV (3 hours, 45 mins), but it also includes things like gaming, radio, Netflix, short-form video, and DVDs. The TV set as an entertainment device is in rude health. But, as we all know, the TV had babies. All TV used to be watched on a TV set in a living room but these days we live in a brilliant world where you can watch TV wherever you like on a host of screens. However, Accenture’s report dramatically overstates what is happening. Accenture claims that ‘viewership for long form video content, such as movies and television on a TV screen, has declined by 13 percent globally over the past year’. They get to this figure by asking people what their ‘preferred device [is] when accessing different types of digital content’. So they seem to have conflated viewership with device preference, when clearly they are not the same thing. They have given an answer when they haven’t even asked the question. Accenture claims that the ‘frequency of accessing digital content…daily AND weekly’ (so that’s weekly then) on a TV set has declined by 33% in the last year for 14-17 year olds. In the UK, the weekly reach for this age group has declined 1.7%. It is true that the volume of TV viewing on a TV set has declined recently – more so for younger viewers - after reaching record heights during digital switchover. Last year it decreased by 4.5% in the UK and returned to the level it was 10 years ago. There are complex and over-lapping reasons for this: heavy viewers are watching less as more people move back into employment, more viewing is falling outside the BARB industry standard definition as more archive on-demand is available on the TV set – and of course viewing on other devices is growing, especially for younger viewers. However the TV set’s reach has not changed. No one has abandoned it.

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