Mobile/on-demand video rules, shame about the content discovery: survey

Credit: dennizn /

Mobile video and on-demand TV viewing have soared over the past seven years, but content discovery remains a perennial frustration for consumers.

Those are the key findings from Ericsson’s seventh annual ConsumerLab TV & Media Report, which details what it says is the enormous and rapid shift in TV and video viewing behavior towards mobility.

Details after the epic infographic:

Ericsson ConsumerLab video survey
Epic infographic (Source: Ericsson ConsumerLab TV & Media Report)

Ericcson says average viewing times on mobile devices has grown by more than 200 hours a year since 2012, driving up overall TV and video viewing by an additional 1.5 hours a week. That surge is offset somewhat by a decline in fixed-screen viewing of 2.5 hours a week, but Ericsson says overall demand for TV and video is not fading at all.

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For perspective: the weekly share of time spent watching TV and video on mobile devices has grown 85% from 2010 to 2016; on fixed screens, it’s gone down 14% in the same time frame. Additionally, 40% of consumers globally are “very interested” in a mobile data plan that includes unrestricted video streaming.

However, consumers are also very interested in actually finding something they want to watch – and current content discovery capabilities are not helpful in that regard.

This appears to be a particular problem in the US, where 44% of consumers say they can’t find anything to watch on linear TV on a daily basis (up 22% compared with last year). In contrast, US consumers spend 45% more time choosing what to watch on VOD services than linear TV.

That said, 63% of consumers claim that they are very satisfied with content discovery when it comes to their VOD service, while only 51% say the same for linear TV. Ericsson’s conclusion from this is that while the VOD discovery process is more time consuming than with linear broadcast TV, consumers rate it as less frustrating, as it implicitly promises the opportunity to find something they want to watch, when they want to watch it.

The ConsumerLab report also says that on-demand services are becoming increasingly popular. The total viewing time of on-demand content – such as streamed TV series, movies and other TV programs – has increased 50% since 2010. That includes YouTube – 40% of respondents say they watch YouTube daily, while 10% say they watch YouTube for more than three hours a day.

Zeynep Ahmet, Senior Advisor, Ericsson ConsumerLab says: “Based on our extensive research, we can see consumers increasingly ask for seamless access to high quality TV and video content, across services and devices. For consumers in general, and millennials in particular, being able to watch on the smartphone is key. Consumers not only want the shared, social broadcast TV experience, they also expect the flexibility of an à la carte on-demand media offering. Today’s experience is multifaceted and consumers want to create their own worlds of compelling, personalized content.”

You can download the full report here.

The report is based on interviews with 30,000 consumers aged 16-69 across 24 markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, the UK and the US. All respondents have a broadband Internet connection at home and watch TV and video at least once a week. Almost all use the Internet on a daily basis.

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