Friday, March 28, 2014

Generation shift as online OTT viewing outflanks TV

Over one third of young viewers primarily consume online video, according to research by Parks Associates. Indeed, 37% of the 18-24 year olds surveyed cite online video as their most important source of moving images. The research, which sampled over 2,50 in the United States, also showed that over 50% of broadband households now use paid OTT video services, either subscription or transactional.

While these results illustrate once more that millenials are more likely than older consumers to use OTT services, linear TV quickly takes over as the most important source of video when respondents are aged over 25. John Barrett, director of consumer analytics at Parks Associates (pictured), explains that despite the rise of OTT content sources, the reign of linear TV is far from over. “It depends how old you are. Broadcast TV remains important to everybody, but its importance varies. Older demographics look to broadcast first and are less likely to look online for video.”

Barrett stresses that there are a lot of trends and nuances linked to the emergence of online video as a key source of entertainment. He says the results are a blend of both demographics and circumstances, meaning the choice of a linear channel or of on demand content depends on context.

“Some situations like binge-watching series or watching a movie one has not yet seen are a good fit for OTT services. But in other scenarios, even people who would primarily turn to OTT services will choose broadcast first when they are getting ready in the morning perhaps or relaxing at the end of the day. The two types of content are complementing each other, as far as our viewing experience goes.”

A number of factors, including ‘tech-savviness’ and being a digital native, are influencing younger viewers’ preference for online video. “There’s a psychological difference between demographics. For the pay-TV generation linear channels were a major form of entertainment in the home. They are more willing to watch content on a schedule or to record it to DVD.

“For the younger generation, the internet was ubiquitous and TV doesn’t hold that enshrined place in the home. I think a lack of patience that has been cultivated in the younger generation contributes to their enthusiasm for on demand content.”

It’s a multiscreen world, but viewers would rather watch content on a big screen, according to Barrett. “There’s an assumption that people prefer to use tablets, but we generally see a hierarchy starting with the TV screen and migrating to a computer, a tablet or a mobile if the large screen isn’t available.”

From the article, "Generation shift as online OTT viewing outflanks TV" by Fergal Ringrose.

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