A new era of TV viewing

A new report by Ericsson ConsumerLab explores the changing TV viewing habits of consumers around the world.The researchers carried out in-depth interviews in the US and Sweden and 12,000 online interviews (1000 per country) in Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, Italy, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK and the US.Although scheduled, broadcast TV is still dominant, the consumption of on-demand content is steadily increasing.  Almost 60% of consumers are using on-demand services at least once a week.  This increase is, at least partly, being driven by the purchase of easy to use smart TVs which mean people can take up new viewing habits without learning new skills.Other key findings

  • A move away from separate screens for reach room to one main TV supplemented by mobile devices (‘one TV, many devices')
  • Mobile viewing outside of the home is still an emerging behaviour - but is growing
  • ‘Linear' (or traditional) TV viewing is increasingly being used for live events or even ‘background viewing'.  On-demand services offer focused viewing
  • 62% of people use social networking while watching TV at least once a week - and this number is growing
  • There are national differences in paid TV subscription trends.  Spending in China is increasing; spending in the US is decreasing
  • The importance of content discovery.  Rather than being driven by schedulers, consumers are using a number of sources to evaluate what they want to watch - from personal and social recommendations to IMDb
The report concludes that consumers are struggling to merge their TV viewing services and identifies opportunities for aggregated services that can help consumers in the same way that music aggregators do - for example by integrating social aspects of content consumption, or helping consumers discover new content.Meanwhile, EU-funded researchers have been looking at how broadcasting and social media can be brought together to create a single viewer experience.  The project explored such initiatives as the use of smartphones as TV remote controllers and the development of personalised and contextualised advertising.  The project also developed the NoTube TV API, which can but used by broadcasters to make programming more interactive.You can read more about the results of the EU project here.