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Poll: Consumers Equally Likely to Stream Video and Watch Broadcast TV

4 Sep, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Nearly 30% of respondents still watch packaged media weekly, while 43% covet Ultra-HD 4K TV resolution

About 75% of consumers in a recent global poll said they stream video several times a week or more — just 2% less than the percentage of consumers who watch scheduled broadcast television. Nearly 30% of consumers watch content weekly on DVD or Blu-ray Disc.

That said, just 8% of consumers’ $85 monthly entertainment spending is on packaged media, versus 21% in 2010. By comparison, on-demand content consumer spending has more than doubled during the same time period.

The results are part of a study conducted by Swedish mobile phone manufacturer Ericsson involving 23,000 online interviews in nine countries (1,000 interviews each), including Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The rise in subscription streaming and on-demand programing continues to undermine the traditional multichannel video program ecosystem as 50% of respondents said they would prefer to pick their own channels than be subjected to inflexible bundled channels.

That said, the “Ericsson ConsumerLab TV and Media 2014” study found that respondents consider TV channels increasingly as sources for content to time-shift and record for on-demand viewing.

The report found that 19% of respondents time-shift programing on a weekly basis, followed by 17% who do so daily, and 6% monthly. Indeed, 30% of respondents don’t time-shift any programing, and 20% do so infrequently.


The meteoric rise of subscription streaming pioneer Netflix, followed by Amazon Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus and related services around the world has demonstrated SVOD appeal as an inexpensive source for unlimited quality content.

Notably, among U.S. respondents rating on-demand services, after Netflix’s market-leader status, Hulu (and Hulu Plus) ranked ahead of Amazon Prime Instant Video, HBO Go, Xfinity On-Demand, and iTunes, among others.

About 56% of SVOD users prefer having all episodes of a TV program available from the start (for binge viewing) compared with 45% among non-SVOD users.

Meanwhile, just 14% of respondents said transactional VOD (rental) was part of their monthly entertainment budget, compared with 27% for SVOD. Notably, increased content availability among SVOD services coupled with 48-hour time constraints for transactional VOD purchases undermine the latter’s appeal to consumers, according to the report.

The TV Remains King

The amount of time spent watching content on the television hasn’t changed much since 2012, with weekly consumption down slightly in 2014 above 13 hours.

That said, respondents cited high-definition resolution, commercial-free programing, new-release movies day-and-date with theatrical, on-demand programing and subtitles as their top five television and video features. Among the five least-important features: social media recommendations, ad-sponsored mobile video content, live video from local events, interactive TV and e-commerce functionality.

Indeed, more than 60% of consumers consider HD resolution very important in a TV, with 43% advocating for UHD 4K resolution.

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