TV Landscape is Getting More Mobile

TV – With TV sales somewhat recovering from a recent downturn, many hope that the TV market is returning to normal.  There are also many analysts that have a different view based on changes in the viewing behavior of the consumer.

There have been many discussions about the future of the broadcast industry and if I had the ultimate answer I would gladly share it with you. Unfortunately I don’t have that answer.

There is definitely a change happening in the home entertainment area and many are trying to figure out where this is going and how to establish a profitable business in this new world.

Altman Vilandrie and Company has released the results of a survey about mobile TV habits in the US. The survey, which also looks at consumers’ attitudes toward add-on video and TV programming services, has been conducted since 2010 and the latest results are based on a poll of 3,000 consumers in July 2014.

Here are some of the results as quoted by the Digital TV News:

  • 40% of consumers under 35 are using smartphones to watch  TV or movies every week;
  • A super-majority (71%) of smartphone viewers also binge watch (i.e. watch three episodes of a program in one sitting) at least monthly and 41% use their cable provider’s TV;
  • The phenomenon of cord shaving, or consumers spending less on cable, jumped from 26% last year to 35% in 2014. Now, more than half of consumers under 35 say they spend less on cable than they used to because they use internet video instead;
  • The percentage of consumers who considered cancelling cable service has doubled since 2010 (15% to 30%) but only rose slightly since 2013 (28%);
  • The number of households not subscribing to cable TV due to online video remains low, at about 5% of TV households, and more than 60% of non-subscribing consumers under the age of 35 said it is likely they will subscribe to cable in the next five years.

They also state that in the survey the percentage of US consumers owning a tablet has increased from 40% to 50% over the last twelve months.

Looking at the results, it seems obvious to me that changes in TV viewing are strongly involving mobile computing devices like smartphones and tablets. When we look at the high percentage of consumers 35 years and younger using smartphones to watch TV, it suggests that the cultural shift between older generations and the millenials may have a significant impact in TV viewing behavior. If this is so, even with TV sales increasing, changes in TV viewing behavior will not go back, but may continue in the same direction. This means that online TV viewing will increase while the TV in the living room will become more and more a kind of old fashioned item of furniture.

Display Daily Comment

Does this mean that large sized TVs are becoming obsolete? I don’t think so. Large sized TVs will be the electronic canvas used in homes for some time to come. However, the form in which we use our TV will change over the coming years. More on-demand video and private use such as gaming, web browsing and video calls will be the norm. This may not mean that consumers will be changing their viewing habits, but that the younger generations are using TV sets in different ways leading to an overall change in use patterns. – Norbert Hildebrand