Consumers Find New Ways to Get Entertainment on their Own Terms

  • Arris
SUWANEE, GA — Consumer demand for personalized entertainment is driving several key trends in global content consumption, with significant implications for tomorrow’s entertainment services, according to the ARRIS 2014 Consumer Entertainment Index.

Broadcast TV remains the staple of in-home entertainment, with a nearly universal 96 percent penetration rate and new implications for multiscreen and multi-room viewing. The vast majority of consumers are engaged in binge-TV viewing: 80 percent now watching multiple TV episodes or even an entire series in a single sitting. Meanwhile, a growing aversion to traditional TV advertising is opening the door for multiscreen merchandising. And the biggest challenge of today’s multiscreen world may be finding the space to save everything we want to watch.

ARRIS’s Consumer Entertainment Index is an independent study of global media consumption habits, surveying 10,500 consumers from 19 countries. The study tracks engagement with various components of the entertainment experience—including multiscreen, advertising, and DVR—to offer insight into the trends that are driving the evolution of content consumption.

Key findings from the ARRIS Consumer Entertainment Index:

  • Consumers turn TV-binging into a habit: 80 percent admit to ‘binge-viewing’ entertainment, while 14 percent admit to binge-viewing at least once a day.

  • Traditional TV advertising is a turn-off; consumers shift attention to program-related purchases: 60 percent of consumers record entertainment to skip the ads. 41 percent said that ads on their smartphone are intrusive. However, 17 percent of consumers use secondary devices to purchase products featured on the programs they watch.

  • Consumers love entertainment in the living room but are ‘tuned-in’ in the bedroom: Broadcast TV is here to stay, but carries new implications for multiscreen and multi-room viewing. Globally, the living room remains the most popular room for viewing TV, while 41 percent of tablet owners now use their tablets in the bedroom to watch entertainment.

  • In 2014, households argue over not what to watch but what to delete: 62 percent of DVR owners say they have to delete programs because they ran out of space, despite 28 percent of recorded content having never been watched. 52 percent said they recorded content to skip the parts of the program they didn’t like.

Sandy Howe, SVP, Global Marketing, ARRIS, commented: “The rapid growth of mobile devices, increasing reach of high-speed broadband networks, and ease of content access is reshaping the way people engage with entertainment. Consumers now expect entertainment on their terms—control over what they watch, when and where they watch it.

“Our Consumer Entertainment Index found that consumers express these expectations in the ways they engage with entertainment in the home. We’ve found a healthy appetite for traditional forms of entertainment, like broadcast TV, and this serves as the foundation for new ways of consuming that content—like multiscreen, multi-room, and binge-viewing. Meanwhile, we’re seeing an uptick in conversion on second-screen merchandising. These trends underscore an opportunity for service providers to offer more personalized services and program-related content that address this shift in engagement,” Howe continued.

Binging has Become a Habit

Binge-viewing has gone mainstream and is especially popular with women and younger audiences in the living room.

  • 80 percent admit to ‘binge-viewing’ entertainment. One in five (18 percent) 25 to 34 year-olds binge-view once a week. 14 percent of respondents say they binge at least once a day.

  • The most popular way to binge-view content is to download via a free catch-up service (31 percent) or via DVD/Blu-ray (31 percent), closely followed by a free streamed catch-up service. Only 10 percent said they binge-watched via a paid-for download service, and only 8 percent said they did so via a paid-for streamed service.

  • Binge-viewing most often takes place on "standard TV" (37 percent) over computers, smartphones, and tablets. Traditional connected devices remain the second-most used, with the laptop (32 percent) and the desktop (27 percent) appearing high on the list. Just 11 percent said that they binge-view on a tablet device.

  • Films and movies tend to be the preferred binge-viewing content for 51 percent of respondents, followed by entertainment programs (38 percent).

  • 16 percent of respondents said they would pay for a service that allowed them to immediately download/stream recently completed TV series, and 21 percent would be happy to pay a little more for it if it came as part of a bundle deal. 21 percent also said they would choose a provider who offered this type of service.

  • Interestingly, women are more likely to binge-watch than men. 35 percent of women say they binge-view at least once a week, compared to 32 percent of men.

  • Younger age groups are more likely to binge-view with 44 percent of 25 to 34 year olds and 41 percent of 16 to 24 year-olds saying they do it at least once a week.

Traditional TV Advertisements are a Turn-Off; Consumers Shift Attention to Program-Related Purchases
The study suggests that traditional TV and mobile advertising is reaching a saturation point, while consumers appear to embrace new forms of personalized and program-related merchandising.

  • 84 percent of people admitted to wanting to fast-forward ads they watch; 65 percent of respondents said they want to fast-forward more than half the time they watch TV.

  • Consumers are consciously finding ways around advertising – it’s a reason for why the majority record or download programs. 60 percent of those surveyed say they record content to be able to fast-forward through advertising.

  • 41 percent of consumers feel that mobile advertising is intrusive.

  • 49 percent of consumers never click through or follow up on TV advertisement on their connected devices.

  • Consumers are increasingly using more than one device to engage in the TV program they are watching. Of those who have done so, 36 percent used a second device to access live information about the program; 32 percent engaged in a text conversation about the program; and 21 percent engaged in a voice conversation using a second device.

  • Interestingly, 30 percent of consumers using secondary devices have done so to purchase products featured in the programs they watch, while 20 percent played an interactive game or app related to the program.

Consumers Love Entertainment in the Living Room but are Still “Tuned-In” in the Bedroom

Traditional broadcast TV remains a staple of the home entertainment ecosystem, and the living room continues to be the preferred location for entertainment viewing in the home, but consumers are extending this paradigm onto more devices in more rooms. Watching TV is often the secondary action to provide background entertainment, as mobile smart devices have become much more of a distraction – often taking consumers away from the content they’re watching on their main screen. This makes traditional TV something that is easy to put down as well as pick up. Internet TV is also on the rise in the living room and remains stable in the bedroom.

  •  The living room is still central to consuming entertainment, with the majority of all types of content being viewed in that room. Thanks to new devices, respondents are branching out from the living room - 41 percent of tablet owners watch content on their tablet in the bedroom, and 22 percent in the kitchen.

  • 66 percent of respondents said they watch broadcast TV in the living room, while 61 percent said they watch subscription paid TV.

  • Tablet and smartphone use for watching media and content is increasing in the rooms not traditionally associated with this – the dining room, the kitchen and the bathroom.

  • Around half of smartphone owners watch TV on their smartphone for at least a few minutes a week.

  • This is also the case for around six out of ten tablet owners.

  • 65 percent are interested in a service that allows them to watch any TV program from any device in any location.

  • Broadcast TV is here to stay - 96 percent of global respondents watch at least one hour of broadcast TV each week.

  • 52 percent said that they would be interested in pausing and restarting content in another room.

  • 56 percent percent of respondents have used a device to do a task while watching TV.

  • The device most likely to distract consumers in 2014 is the laptop, with 29 percent of people saying they used one to have a text conversation, buy a song, play a game or access data about the program. Smartphones, surprisingly, are the preferred device for distraction among just 18 percent of the population.

  • 37 percent of respondents said that they were browsing the Internet in a manner unrelated to the content on TV using a second device; 37 percent also said they were texting/messaging/emailing friends or family; 33 percent said they were browsing social media; 29 percent said they were online shopping; 29 percent said playing a game.

Households Argue Not over What to Watch, but What to Delete
Recording of content is causing frustration in the household. With so much content to watch, and yet a finite amount of time in the day, households argue over what gets consigned to trash.

  • 62 percent of respondents record content each week. However, of that recorded content, over a quarter is never actually watched (28 percent).

  • 52 percent said they recorded content to skip the parts of the program they didn’t like.

  • 40 percent of those who delete programs before they get around to watching them say the reason they delete programs is because they are no longer interested; 28 percent saw the content elsewhere; 23 percent had to delete to make way for other programs; and 10 percent plan to get it on demand.

  • 74 percent of respondents who had to delete a program from their DVR before watching it said that having to delete programs to make space has caused frustration in the home.

  • Consumers quickly run out of space when it comes to recording TV programs. 62 percent have had to delete or move old TV programs and films to make space for new content. 64 percent said they would like to use a cloud service to store their entertainment.

  • 47 percent of respondents say they’d like to be able to record two or more programs at the same time. Nearly a third of people (30 percent) would be prepared to pay for that service.

  • 29 percent of respondents said that they would swap to a different service provider or complete the sign up to a provider if they could store their content remotely. In addition, 33 percent said they would be prepared to pay for this service.

  • 62 percent of those interested in such a service would willingly be shown a few ads in exchange for a free storage solution to save their content.


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