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Study Shows Seven in 10 TV Viewers Stream Programming

8 Jan, 2015 By: Stephanie Prange

LAS VEGAS—Seven in 10 viewers in broadband households have streamed full-length TV programs in the past six months, according to a new joint research study released at the Consumer Electronics Show.

The survey, conducted by E-Poll Market Research and commissioned by the National Association of Television Program Executives and the Consumer Electronics Association, also found just 55% of millennials — age 13 to 34 — use TVs as their primary viewing platform.

“Our study confirms that the paradigm for TV content discovery has changed dramatically with increased availability and use of TV content streaming options,” said NATPE president and CEO Rod Perth.

“While the vast majority of consumers continue to watch television programming on their TV, many consumers, particularly millennials, increasingly are turning to a variety of devices to view their TV content,” said CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro.

While nine in 10 viewers say they watch TV programming on a television set, millennials are significantly less likely to do so. In terms of preference, only 55% of millennials select a TV set as the preferred screen for viewing television content. About half of millennials say they watch TV programming on a laptop, and for 19%, it’s their preferred TV viewing screen. Another 28% watch television on a tablet and 22 percent on a smartphone. Portability and the ability to watch anywhere is a key benefit in their use of multiple screens as well as a greater comfort level with smaller screen sizes compared to older generations, the study found.

The joint study also showed a decline in the amount of time spent watching live TV programs during their scheduled air time, especially among millennials. Still, streaming viewers say they are watching more TV programming overall.

Other findings:

• Millennials are significantly more likely to consume full-length TV programs from a streaming source (84% streamed in the past six months) than live TV programming at its original air time (54%), or recorded content from a DVR (33%).

• In the study, 51% of millennials considered a subscription to Netflix “very valuable,” compared with 42% for broadcast channels, and 36% for cable subscriptions.

• Gen Xers tend to be the heaviest users of their cable/satellite/telco time-shifting offerings, including video on demand (VOD) and the DVR. Among those in this age group who have access to VOD, 76% use their VOD service once a week or more often. The study found DVRs are primarily used to avoid commercials, while VOD is for convenience.

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