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Streaming video services fuel consumers’ appetite for bingeing: survey

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MUMBAI: Streaming video services, now used by more than 42 per cent of American households, are heavily changing media consumption habits across generations, according to the ninth edition of the Deloitte Digital Democracy survey.

The study reveals that streaming content has overtaken live programming as the viewing method-of-choice, with 56 per cent of consumers now streaming movies and 53 per cent streaming television on a monthly basis, as compared to 45 per cent of consumers preferring to watch television programs live. Moreover, younger viewers have moved to watching TV shows on mobile devices rather than on television. Among Trailing Millennials (age 14-25), nearly 60 per cent of time spent watching movies occurs on computers, tablets and smartphones, making movie viewing habits decidedly age-dependent.

The report also finds that the trend of binge-watching – viewing three or more program episodes at one sitting – is prevalent with 68 per cent of consumers doing so today. In fact, 31 per cent of Americans who binge-watch, do so at least once a week, led by Trailing Millennials, who binge watch more frequently than any other generation at 42 per cent. The survey also notes that TV-dramas are the most popular television genre to binge-watch, commanding 54 per cent of binge-watchers' attention; a characteristic more pronounced among females. Additionally, 20 per cent of Americans binge-watch comedies, with more being male.

Deloitte's Digital Democracy survey compares and contrasts generational preferences of more than 2,000 consumers, ages 14 and older in the US, revealing significant technology, media, and telecommunications consumption trends, including attitudes and behaviour toward advertising and social networks, mobile technologies, the Internet, and consumption preferences across platforms and devices.

“Personal viewing experiences and the ability to consume media at your own pace is significantly impacting how U.S. consumers value their content devices and services. Today, binge-watching, and the ability to watch what we want, when we want, and where we want, is an exciting cultural phenomenon that is shifting consumer behaviors and attitudes towards curating an individual experience," said Deloitte LLP vice chairman and US Media & Entertainment sector leader Gerald Belson.

At home, multitasking commands attention

The growing ubiquity of digital devices and corresponding engagement activities among the American consumer is profound, with 90 per cent of consumers now multitasking while watching TV. Among Millennials and Generation X (age 32-48), both engage in an average of three additional activities while watching television, including internet browsing, reading email and text messaging.

Other interesting findings include:



* Multitasking activities, while abundant, are not usually tied to television programs being watched. Less than one-quarter of those watching television are engaging in multitasking activities that correlate with the ongoing program.

* Consumers tend to pay more attention to digital (online) ads as compared to traditional TV advertising, with nearly 75 per cent of consumers saying that they tend to multitask more during television ads than during digital ads.

* Consumers are willing to endure advertisements in exchange for discounted services. Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) agreed that they would be willing to view advertising during their streaming video programming if it significantly reduced the cost of their subscription.

Personalization of gaming

With mobile device ownership continuing to grow, gamers are now spending one-third of their time playing games via mobile platforms. The survey also reveals that:

* Almost 40 per cent of consumers and 54 per cent of Trailing Millennials play at least some video games on a daily or weekly basis.

* Of the time spent on playing games, 24 per cent of consumers play on gaming consoles, 21 per cent on a smartphone and 11 per cent on tablet devices

* Gaming consoles are no longer being used solely for gaming anymore, with 38 per cent of consumers using them to stream movies and television online, and 29 per cent using their consoles to view online content.

“While gaming continues to be influenced by mobile technology, consoles are expanding in functionality, and in doing so, are helping to feed the consumption needs of a larger consumer base. Gaming devices are not just geared to satiate the appetite of avid gamers, but of those who require devices capable of providing a full package of quality entertainment services, coupled with the speeds to deliver them,” added Belson.

State of the Millennial Buyer

Millennials, which the survey divides into Leading Millennials (age 26-31) and Trailing Millennials (age 14-25) for this study, are increasingly influencing product and service functionalities and are eager to adopt, even model, the next big thing.

The survey reveals that 13 per cent of Trailing Millennials who don't already have smart watches intend to buy one in the next 12 months, and 12 per cent of the same age group who don't already own fitness bands intend to buy a fitness band within the same period. Among Leading Millennials, 17 per cent intend to buy a smartwatch in the next 12 months, and 14 per cent intend to buy a fitness band within the same time frame.

The value that Millennials place on devices and services was also examined, with home Internet overwhelmingly the most valued service among subscribers according to 93 per cent of Millennials. Furthermore, more than half (58 per cent) of Trailing Millennial subscribers still value Pay TV, with 22 per cent of those consumers who don't currently own a television planning to purchase a new television within the next 12 months. Among Leading Millennials, 75 per cent of subscribers were shown to value Pay TV, with 25 per cent of non-owners planning to purchase a new television in the next 12 months.

According to the survey, there was a decrease in the number of Pay TV subscribers that say they have no plans to change providers or cut the cord this year. A quarter of Trailing Millennials either cancelled their Pay TV subscriptions in the last 12 months or haven't had Pay TV for more than a year. Among Leading Millennials, it was shown that 16 per cent indicated they had either cancelled their Pay TV subscription in the last 12 months or haven't had Pay TV for more than a year.

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