Online viewing continues to gain ground on traditional broadcast TV

Thursday, February 13th, 2020
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The Changing Nature of TV: Video Streaming Continues to Grow

  • New research reveals consumer viewing habits and highlights importance of delivering a high-performance user experience

LONDON, UK — Online viewing is gaining ground on traditional broadcast TV, according to new research conducted by CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) and Streaming Video Alliance. Over 80% of consumers are streaming more video than three years ago and nearly half (45%)* of respondents define TV as being delivered over the internet.

“When it comes to streaming, delivering an exceptional user experience is of increasing importance for driving customer loyalty,” said Rory McVicar, director of product management, internet and content delivery services, EMEA, CenturyLink. “Streaming providers must invest in technologies that will provide scalable and reliable content delivery. To give our customers a competitive advantage, CenturyLink is advancing the reach and performance of our global content delivery network platform, including offering innovative capabilities such as peer-assisted streaming for a seamless experience during large scale events and peak viewing hours.”

Other key findings:

  • The majority of respondents (73%) have one or two OTT subscriptions; more than a quarter (27%) have three or more subscriptions.
  • Despite 50% of consumers using their smartphone for video streaming at least once per day, the big screen remains a core social activity with 60% of respondents watching online content on television at least once per day.
  • Almost half (47%) of respondents indicated they had lower expectations of stream quality when watching content on mobile devices, prioritising convenience over bitrate or resolution.
  • The majority of respondents (65%) would be willing to pay extra to legitimise sharing of their streaming video subscription with friends and family. This offers a potential revenue opportunity for service providers.
  • Respondents reported frequently watching short form content of less than five minutes from social platforms such as YouTube or Facebook; 34% stated they watch multiple times per day.
  • There continues to be opposition to ads and other video interruptions, but consumers did indicate some preference towards lower monthly subscriptions in an ad-supported model.

* Respondents were able to select multiple answers in response to the question that generated this finding.

“The Changing Nature of TV: Understanding how streaming video is changing what consumers think of TV” is based on responses from more than 6,000 consumers in the U.K., France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland, aged 18 and over.