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India, US lead in VoD subs as global viewing increased 34 per cent

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MUMBAI: Millennial consumers worldwide lead the growth of online video consumption, according to a research report from Limelight Networks, a leader in digital content delivery.

Taking a close look at consumers’ changing viewing habits, the annual report shows that the average global viewer watches online video five hours, 45 minutes each week and subscribes to one or more video on-demand (VoD) services.

The report is based on a survey of 4,000 consumers ranging in age, gender, and education in France, Germany, India, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, the UK, and the US.

The increasing shift to online viewing video is a global trend with viewers in India, Singapore, and the US spending the most time watching online videos, averaging seven hours, seven minutes; six hours, 37 minutes; and six hours, 35 minutes per week, respectively. Germany had the lowest rate of online video viewership at four hours, 14 minutes, and nearly half of respondents watching only one to two hours per week.

“With the proliferation of online video content, viewers are moving away from traditional broadcast television viewing and have increasing expectations for broadcast-quality experiences,” said Limelight Networks senior director Michael Milligan.

“Our research over time has shown a clear increase in expectations and decreasing patience with poor quality experiences.”

Additional insight from the report includes:

Millennials watch the most online video: Younger people watch the most online video, with viewers 18-25 averaging seven hours, 18 minutes per week and people 26-35 watching six hours, 53 minutes per week. Viewers 60 and older only watch three hours, 46 minutes per week.

Growth of eSports: Although traditional sports programming was the third most watched type of online video content by men, males 18-25 watch more eSports and online video gaming than traditional sports programming.

Consumers won’t waste time on a poor experience: Rebuffering (when a video pauses during playback to load more content) is the top frustration when viewing videos online – surpassing poor video quality and limited device access. If a video rebuffers twice, more than 61 per cent of viewers will stop watching. Only 15 per cent will continue watching after rebuffering happens for a third time.

Smartphones gain popularity for viewing: Although computers and laptops are the primary online video viewing device globally, smartphones are the preferred device in India and South Korea. Smartphones are also the preferred device for millennials.

Cable subs keep the cord, go further over-the-top: Despite cord-cutting concerns, the report uncovered that people subscribing to cable have twice as many over-the-top subscription services than those without cable.

US and India lead subscriptions to online video streaming services: Consumers globally are signing on to streaming with 30 per cent of viewers noting they subscribe to two or more services. Subscription rates are highest in the U.S. and India, where 50.8 per cent and 46.8 per cent, respectively, subscribe to two or more services. In comparison, only 16.7 per cent of respondents in France subscribe to two or more services.

Movies and TV shows lead online viewing: Globally, viewers spend more time online watching movies than any other type of content. However, viewers in South Korea and the U.K. watch TV shows most often. When viewed by gender, men prefer movies, while women prefer TV shows.

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