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Survey: Television Viewing Growing, But Fragmenting

  • Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2009
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Business Analysis

By Jason Ankeny Comment Forward

The television viewing experience continues to fragment as viewers turn to alternative platforms that impact how, when and where they consume programming, according to global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing firm Accenture's second annual Global Broadcast Consumer Survey. Accenture--which surveyed nearly 14,000 consumers across 13 countries earlier this year--reports that viewing of all content is growing across all platforms, including mobile.

Forty percent of respondents report watching six or more television channels, compared to 35 percent in 2008, and the number of respondents who said they would also enjoy viewing content on other devices is also growing: 74 percent of viewers said they would screen content on their PCs, compared to 61 percent a year ago, and 45 percent said they would watch content on their mobile devices, compared to 32 percent in 2008.

Accenture notes that the mobile viewing experience is most appealing to consumers in emerging mobile markets. Respondents in Mexico, Brazil and Malaysia were nearly three times as likely as those in the U.S., Germany and the U.K. to express interest in watching television content on mobile phones, ranging from 65 percent to 71 percent of respondents in the former group but only from 22 percent to 26 percent in the latter. Within more-developed markets, interest in alternative content consumption channels declines sharply with advancing age: The number of U.S. respondents who said they would enjoy viewing content on their mobile devices peaked at 50 percent for those under 25 years old, but reached only 9 percent for those 55 and older.

The Accenture survey also indicates consumers in every age group are growing more decisive about their viewing preferences, particularly in mature content marketplaces like Japan, the U.S. and the U.K., with Accenture suggesting that consumers are quickly forming opinions on how they feel about content and how and where it's viewed.

"If today's content services don't meet consumer expectations, it will be that much harder for providers to sell to them later, even when services improve," said Accenture Media & Entertainment practice senior exec David Wolf in a prepared statement. "Providers face an urgent need to capture consumer loyalty now--and respond to changing consumption habits--or face playing catch-up against other content delivery choices."

In addition, the Accenture study reports that despite the global economic downturn, consumers indicate an increased willingness to pay for different types of programming. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they would pay for digital service programming, up from 37 percent in last year's survey, while 40 percent said they would prefer to watch ads in exchange for free content. Subscription models trump pay-to-play models in every age group, with all-you-can-eat premium programming (selected by 25 percent of respondents) proving more popular than pay-per-episode or pay-per-season (12 percent and 9 percent, respectively) fee structures. [FierceMobileContent]

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