Ofcom’s 2015 Communications Market Report found that smartphones and tablets are changing our TV viewing habits. Young people, in particular, like being able to watch TV shows and movies on devices other than a television.
According to Ofcom, most 16 to 24-year-olds are watching on-demand and catch-up programmes on computers and smartphones rather than on a TV connected to a set-top box. Almost half (45%) of all young people in the UK watch TV programmes on a smartphone, while four in ten (40%) use a set-top box.
Entertainment providers need to respond to this trend by offering “TV Everywhere” (TVE), according to a new survey by consulting firm Altman Vilandrie & Company and premium entertainment network EPIX. The companies found that pay-TV providers can attract and retain younger consumers with TVE, but awareness remains low.
More than half (55%) of younger millennials (18 to 24-year-old subscribers) and 48% of older millennials (25 to 34-year-olds) said they would use TVE at least once a month if their provider offered it.
What’s more, a majority (54%) of young millennials and 47% of older millennials who don’t currently have a multichannel service agreed that they would be more likely to consider subscribing to pay-TV if they could watch content on devices other than their TVs.
“Young viewers tend to be mobile device viewers and the survey shows that the best way for pay-TV operators to capture and retain those consumers is through TV Everywhere,” said Jonathan Hurd, Altman Vilandrie & Company director. “However, providers need to do a much better job of promoting TV Everywhere and driving its usage or risk continued erosion of subscribers, especially millennials.”
“TV Everywhere and related features such as network PVR, which allow viewers to watch content on their mobile devices wherever they are, is set to be the new battleground for Pay TV services as they seek to differentiate themselves. However, the continued rise of OTT services (as recently evidenced by Disney’s streaming service) provides that further disruption is still happening as content owners look to go direct to consumers. Consumers do seem happy to sign up to multiple services of this kind, so there is room for multiple OTT services of this nature to coexist in one household. Whether it will result in “cord cutting” remains to be seen but it may be most effective in engaging the “cord nevers” and in taking out the middlemen – the platforms.”
John Davidson-Kelly, Partner, Osborne Clarke