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Global Study: People Prefer Watching Live TV, But VOD, Streaming Gaining

16 Apr, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel


Poll underscores the fact that unlike in U.S., most global viewers prefer live television.


Almost 90% of viewers prefer watching live television, although other modes of consumption, including streaming or downloading from a computer (27%), streaming from the Internet to TV (16%), using a DVR or other recording device (16%), and via mobile device (11%), are gaining in popularity, according to new data from research firm Ipsos.

The survey of 15,551 adults in 20 countries (including the United States) conducted Feb. 4 and Feb. 18, 2013, found that traditional ‘live’ TV watching is more popular (91%) among older respondents ages 50-64, compared with those younger/middle age 35-49 (88%) and under 35 (81%).

Indeed, watching TV programming on computer and laptop is most popular (35%) among respondents under 35 — a percentage that diminishes as viewers’ ages 35-49 (25%) and 50-64 (17%) increase.

Streaming TV content from the Internet was preferred by 20% of respondents under 35; 16% among respondents 35-49; and 11% among the 50-64 demo. The percentages fall even further watching TV on mobile devices. About 15% of respondents under 35 watch TV on a portable device; 10% among the 35-49 demo; and 5% among those 50-64.

Using a DVR or other recording device is most popular with those 50-64 (18%) compared with 35-64 (16%) and under 35 (15%).

Countries whose residents are most likely to choose watching live TV programming include France (93%), Spain (93%), Germany (92%), Turkey (90%), Argentina (89%), Sweden (89%) and Australia (89%).

Those rounding out the middle of the pack are from Brazil (89%), Italy (89%), South Korea (87%), Great Britain (83%), Mexico (82%), Poland (82%) and India (82%).

Those least likely to watch TV programming live are from Japan (82%), Russia (81%), South Africa (81%), U.S. (81%), China (80%) and Canada (77%).

The results seem to support a recent Rentrak Corp. study that found that nearly 67% of primetime network viewing occurs three days after a show’s initial broadcast.

Watching TV on computer or laptop was chosen most often by respondents from China (52%), Russia (43%), Turkey (42%), India (40%), Sweden (35%), South Korea (31%) and Great Britain (29%).

Less inclined are respondents from Poland (27%), South Africa (26%), Canada (26%), Germany (24%), Mexico (24%), Spain (23%) and Brazil (21%).

Respondents from Argentina (20%), the U.S. (20%), Australia (19%), Italy (17%), Japan (14%) and France (12%) is least likely to watch TV on a computer or laptop.

Streaming from the Internet to TV is most popular among respondents in Turkey (44%), Russia (36%), China (33%), South Korea (25%), India (23%), Sweden (19%) and Great Britain (17%).

Those in the middle of the pack are from Canada (17%), the U.S. (17%), Brazil (15%), Mexico (13%), Spain (12%), Italy (11%) and Australia (10%).

Respondents from South Africa (9%), Argentina (9%), Poland (7%), Germany (5%), France (5%), and Japan (3%) are least likely to choose streaming from Internet to TV.

Respondents most likely to use a DVR or other recording device hail from Japan (45%), the U.S. (40%), Canada (32%), Great Britain (31%), South Africa (27%) and Australia (25%).

Those in the middle of the pack are from Poland (18%), India (16%), Germany (11%), France (11%), China (10%), Mexico (9%) and Sweden (8%).

Respondents from Turkey (7%), Brazil (7%), Spain (7%), Italy (7%), Argentina (6%), South Korea (5%) and Russia (4%) are least likely to use a DVR or other recording devices.

Finally, watching TV programming on mobile device is most popular in South Korea (26%), China (25%), India (21%), Turkey (20%), Mexico (13%), Great Britain (12%) and Sweden (12%). And less so in the U.S. (10%), Australia (9%), Spain (9%), Brazil (8%), Canada (7%), South Africa (7%) and Italy (7%).

Least likely to watch TV on mobile device were respondents from Argentina (7%), Japan (6%), Poland (5%), Russia (5%), Germany (4%) and France (4%).


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