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Survey: Voters Still Prefer Disc to Streaming

19 Jun, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Voters — notably younger ones — have a preference watching video entertainment on physical media than streaming via media players, Apple TV, video game consoles or potable media devices, according to a recent survey.

In a fall 2011 survey of 1,100 likely bipartisan voters in the upcoming 2012 presidential election conducted by SAY Media, 9% of respondents said they primarily watch video content via DVD (including presumably Blu-ray Disc) compared to 7% who consume video on a laptop or PC.

Another 5% of respondents streamed video through a media player (such as Roku), Apple TV, game console or related device, while 1% watched video on a mobile phone.

Among voters between the ages of 18 and 44, 10% of respondents preferred physical media over streaming (6%) or mobile phone (2%). However, 11% of the younger demo preferred watching video on a laptop than on disc. Voters older than 45 preferred physical media (8%) compared with the laptop or PC (4%) and streaming (4%).

No respondent older than 45 watched video on a mobile phone or related portable media device.

Voters overwhelmingly (57%) still consume video through broadcast TV, with 44% of younger voters and 68% of older voters opting for the living room TV. Another 17% of respondents watch primarily recorded content on the DVR.

The average voter consumes more than 18 hours of video content each week, with only about half of that programing coming through live broadcast. But there is a big difference in consumption by age — while the total hours spent watching programming is roughly the same for all voters, younger voters (age 18 to 44) are getting a full two-thirds of their video programming from non-live sources, including DVR, DVDs and online streaming.

Disc viewers spend about 2.5 hours a week consuming physical media, including three hours a week among younger voters and 2.1 hours among older voters. Voters watched two hours weekly on a laptop or PC, compared with less than a hour via streaming and portable device.

More than 36% of voters age 18 to 44 are watching less live TV than they did a year ago, while 33% are watching more of their video content online. When asked about the next few years, nearly 30% of younger voters said they plan on switching from traditional video providers to streaming sources or other Internet-based providers.

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