Streaming, OTT & Binge Viewing: The New TV Landscape | Part 3 (White Paper)

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Following are some key takeaways and the latest findings from E-Poll’s ongoing tracking study that examines how the viewing public’s attitudes and usage of Streaming Video On Demand content are changing over time and its impact on the television marketplace.

Earlier findings of this streaming study identified key reasons for adoption of subscription streaming services and generational characteristics that drive usage.

The second part of the study examined similar measures as well as the role of advertising in on-demand content.

In these latest findings, the top takeaways include the increasing use of mobile in the streaming space, as well as the importance of households with children in driving demand for the streaming platform.  In addition to an in-depth discussion of the topics below, the full report will cover these additional elements in our national survey conducted this past June:

  • “Binge Viewing” and the changing way viewers watch television content
  • New streaming service tracking – awareness, viewing, and intent to subscribe to 30 free and subscription streaming services
  • Reasons for SVOD subscription, satisfaction, and future intent to subscribe
  • Attitudes toward streaming among specific broadcast and cable network viewers (over 30 networks included)
  • Program genre interest and streaming by time period
  • Awareness and viewing of SVOD original programs
  • Importance and value of cable and broadcast television in the TV landscape

The complete report is available for purchase now. If you are interested in buying the full tracking study please click here, or contact Michelle Waxman – SVP Corporate Development

Additionally, clients can tap into E-Poll’s proprietary panel of streaming TV consumers for deeper custom research as your needs arise.

Latest Discoveries of The New TV Landscape

 

1. Streaming of full-length TV programs on smartphones is steadily rising among all demographics

Viewing of TV content on smartphones continues to rise, despite significant slowing of smartphone sales in 2016.   The increase is strongest among those with access to one of the 3 main subscription services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime) and is seen across all demographic groups.  Growth in use of the small screen is highest among teens and young adults, with more teens saying they have watched a TV program on their smartphone (66%) in the past six months than any other device, up from 53% last year. Among young adults, (18-34) the smartphone is only second to the laptop for TV viewing, primarily due to higher laptop usage among college age adults (78%, followed by smartphone, used by 51% of 18-24 year olds to watch TV).

 

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Smartphone TV viewers tend to be heavier consumers of content overall, but are not limited to the small screen to get their TV fix. They do typically prefer viewing on connected devices, with over 7 in 10 used a smartphone in the last 6 months, followed by the laptop (66%), tablet (65%), and Smart TV (40%) to watch programming.

Netflix is their go-to source for TV content (87% have watched in the last 6 months), and 49% say Netflix is their most frequently used source of TV programming.  The also stand out in terms of their viewing on YouTube, with 50% saying they’ve watched of full length TV program on YouTube in the last 6 months (vs. 17% of non-smartphone viewers).

Discovery of new programming differs between those who use smartphones for TV viewing and those who don’t, with a higher proportion saying they primarily learn about streaming original’s by searching the site (47% vs. 38% among non-smartphone users) or through automated recommendations (37% vs. 23%).

With increased content, and opportunities for watching on mobile devices, there is a greater need for tools to easily navigate the glut of programs available to viewers on the go.   Netflix rank the highest in satisfaction among mobile phone viewers in terms of its show recommendation engine and general ease of navigation.  Smartphone viewers of TV programming are a little more likely to say they find out about new original programming by searching the library of programs through their service (47%) vs. word of mouth (45%) which has typically dominated as source of awareness.  Use of the recommendation engine to learn about originals has also increased over time (37% in the current wave.)

2. Parents of young kids will represent largest SVOD growth in next 6 to 12 months

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Consumers place a higher value on children’s programming in video streaming services than ever before.  Parents have a comfort level letting kids watch on their smartphones or tablets knowing they can watch commercial free, watch on the go, and offers more quality program options than ever before.

In response to the demand, SVOD services are investing heavily in children’s programming.  Hulu recently signed a deal with Disney, HBO Now has Sesame Street, Netflix has a deal in place with DreamWorks Animation, and Amazon Prime just announced a multi-year deal to offer PBS Kids programming to its subscribers.

Our streaming study shows households with kids under 13 are primed for streamed content, with 55% of Netflix and 44% of Hulu subscribers saying Kids programming was very important in their decision to subscribe to each of these services.  This is less of a factor in subscription to Amazon due to the importance of shipping among those consumers. However, parents of kids under 13 were more likely to say they subscribed to Amazon in this recent data, and are more likely to have tuned in to Amazon programming compared to prior data.  In addition, parents with kids under 13 are the group most likely to say they plan to subscribe to a new streaming service in the next 6 months.

 

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*Households with kids under 13 are more likely to subscribe to one of the 3 main SVOD services – and Amazon has experienced increases in both subscription and viewing among this demo this year (44% vs. 38% last year) – validating their decision to expand their offerings with PBS kids programming in the coming years.

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*In households with kids under 13, access to programming for children, or for the whole family is a key driver in the decision to subscribe to each of the top 3 streaming services, ranking higher than access to originals, to have the ability to binge watch.

 

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*Those with kids under 13 are more connected than those without kids, They’re more likely to say they use a Tablet for TV program viewing (42%) vs (30%).  Also Smart TV (36% vs. 30%), digital media player, and video game consoles for streaming. Use of the smartphone to watch programming has increased over last year among SVOD subscribers with kids from 36% to 42%.

3. Despite increase in available SVOD services, fewer than 15% of people have watched programming on services other than the big 4 (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube)

Awareness of streaming services continues to rise slowly though few have accessed/sampled anything being the top players.  There were a few notable increases in awareness among some specific services like CBS All Access, the first internet TV service to launch among the major big-name networks. Crunchyroll, the service that caters to fans of anime also saw a significant increase in awareness among subscribers and non-subscribers to any subscription streaming service. Sony’s entry into the streaming space with Playstation Vue, recently expanded to many additional markets and awareness of the service increased significantly in the most recent wave to 21% from 16% in wave 2. This trend will likely continue given that NFL Network and the NFL RedZone channel are coming directly to PlayStation Vue this season, without the need for a cable subscription, making it a true cord-cutting option.

Despite higher awareness for a few services, few consumers say they have watched any programming on services beyond Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube.  Fewer than 15% have watched programming on services other than these top 4.

 

Awareness of Streaming Services

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Ever Watched TV Program On Each Service

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4. Millennials prefer full season or series availability for programs in order to binge.

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Given that Netflix is the first choice for TV viewing among the Millennial demographic, it’s not surprising that there is a preference for full season or series availability vs. weekly episodes for TV programming.  The availability of multiple episodes has many upsides for these viewers, the most important of which is the freedom to watch when, where and how much they want.

Preference for full series or full season availability of programs has grown slightly since prior wave among Millennials.  Overall about half of Millennials say they have waited for an entire season of a program to finish before watching so they could watch it all at once.

 

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There are nuances in the different reasons Millennials like multiple episodes of programs available to allow them to binge. There are some indications that full season availability of programs might even help keep this group more loyal and engaged with specific programs than the traditional weekly viewing model does.

Here are some comments from Millennial viewers about reasons they like to binge:

  • “I can watch them all at once or at my leisure. I am also more likely to rewatch
  • “I can keep up with the story a lot easier”
  • “I am a very impatient person and will lose interest or forget about the series if I do not have it all available at one time honestly.”
  • “I can watch at my own pace and don’t have to wait for new ones. It decreases anticipation but increases satisfaction.”
  • “I don’t have to wait a week for a flop of an episode. I can skip terrible episodes to get to the good ones.
  • “Watching just one episode every week, I tend to forget what happened and lose track of the plotline and characters.”

 

5. The right shows and genres can drive more “Live TV” viewing.

While video on demand has replaced Live TV viewing as preferred way of watching TV programming across demographic groups, there are still certain shows that viewers of all age groups say they have to watch live.

Overall, about 4 in 10 streamers say they have a specific show or shows they have to watch as soon as they air on TV.

Are there any specific TV programs that you prefer to watch when they originally air on TV, rather than wait to binge watch when all episodes are available?

 

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What shows are they? We asked.
  1. Shows with tight storytelling, suspense, and regular plot payoffs. These shows inspire a passionate fan base
    • Game of Thrones
    • The Walking Dead
  2. Competitive Reality Shows that generate next-day water cooler conversation
    • The Bachelor/ Bachelorette
    • The Voice
    • Dancing With The Stars
  3. Procedural Dramas have hooked fans for years and continue to generate a strong commitment to view. Given that there is no ongoing storyline, there is no need to wait for an entire season to watch.
    • NCIS
    • Law & Order
    • Criminal Minds
  4. The Big Bang Theory is an anomaly as few comedies drive viewers to watch live as soon as an episode airs. Big Bang was mentioned by a significant number of viewers as a show they prefer to watch when it originally airs.
  5. Sports
  6. Other shows that were top mentions for viewing
      • Grey’s Anatomy
      • Pretty Little Liars
      • The Flash
      • Scandal
      • Once Upon a Time
      • Supernatural

6. Non-subscribers are still viewing via the sharing economy

Nearly three-quarters of streamers have a subscription to one of the three main streaming services. However, a lack of subscription has not stopped non-subscribers from enjoying the benefits of streaming services. This may change with recent court rulings. Among streamers that do not subscribe to a service, over one-third use someone else’s subscription to stream. Of the three main services, non-subscribers are most likely to share a Netflix subscription.

 

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For more information on the latest findings from E-Poll’s eye-opening report “Streaming, OTT & Binge Viewing: The New TV Landscape,” please contact us here.

Resources

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