Here’s proof of what many industry experts suspected: OTT has arrived or because more than 75% of all consumers in seven countries are viewing video over the Net, not all on the living room TV set. At least, not yet!
The numbers come from an Accenture survey called “Video-Over-Internet Consumer Usage,“ which surveyed 6,500 consumers. Responding “yes“ to OTT were:
– 85% age 18 to 24
– 82% age 35 to 44
– 64% over the age of 65
They were in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the States.
“Consumption of video over the Internet is no longer a millennial-generation phenomenon; it’s an activity that crosses all age groups,“ said Francesco Venturini, Accenture’s global broadcast lead. “Video over the Internet is well on its way to becoming a mass medium. Furthermore, it’s clear that consumers are ready and, in some instances, may be ahead of the industry in terms of the vision they have for how, when and where they watch and interact with video content,“ the survey said.
The main use for OTT at 40% is catch-up TV. Sorry Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft, but only 14% said they want to surf the Web on their TVs and only 11% want interactive and social networking functionality.
“Viewers want many of the same freedom of choice options that they experience when using their computers to apply to video consumption,“ said Venturini. “They value the ability to watch content anytime; however, they do not necessarily want to surf the Web and they see relatively little value in using the TV as a gateway device for other applications.“
Over half (54%) of tablet users are interested in using them for video-on-demand and catch-up functions. Here’s good news for content developers and pay-TV services that offer simultaneous Twitter, chat or Facebook use. About 44% of tablet users are interested in the ability to interact with on-air programming to receive additional content related to what they are viewing.
Video Quality Is Most Important
About 48% of those surveyed in all age groups said clarity of picture and speed of content delivery are the most important technical features they look for in an Internet video service. HD was second at 27%.
The ease of use in search and content management ranked high with 14%. The use of recommendation engines was 11%.
Venturini said, “One of the major issues providers must anticipate and solve if they are to be successful in the IP video marketplace is the ability to handle congestion on the network and perform streaming in such a way as to deliver a high-quality experience.“
TVs still dominate consumers’ viewing preference (at 92%) but the diversity of electronic devices that consumers now use to view video is very evenly divided:
– 75% use desktop computers
– 72% use laptops
– 63% use mobile devices, presumably smartphones
– 21% use tablets such as the iPad, but Accenture says, “It is just a question of time before that number climbs significantly.“
“These results suggest a ‘form factor’ challenge when it comes to mobile video viewing,“ said Venturini. “With broad access to video across devices with large screens, mobile video viewing will rarely be the first choice among many consumers. Because of this, providers will need to focus on creating video content specifically for smaller screens such as mobile phones and tablets or on creating programming that complements the large-TV-screen experience.“
Watching video on devices other than the TV is increasing among all age groups. Viewing increased by:
– 35% on laptops
– 28% on desktop computers
– 26% on Internet-connected TVs
The nature of the entire viewing experience, including traditional TV watching, has changed, the report said. There is no longer a single delivery channel or device that receives the uninterrupted attention of viewers. While watching TV:
– 81% multitask with other devices
– 48% use laptops
– 41% use mobile devices
– 28% use desktop computers
Venturini said, “This fragmented viewing experience may appear to present challenges to advertisers, but companies able to leverage this multi-device, multi-channel addiction of consumers across devices may gain even more viewer awareness and loyalty.“
And…The survey showed that large percentages of consumers are ready for a multi-device experience that goes beyond simply replicating traditional TV on another device, according to Accenture. “Content is important, quality is critical and personalization of the service is a must,“ it said.