Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 09-09-2011

Further evidence of the continued increase in over the top (OTT) viewing has arrived in a new Knowledge Networks report showing growth of over 30% over the last twelve months.

The growth, described by the analyst as ‘dramatic’, is being driven mainly by the multi-platform availability of OTT services, both in terms of streamed and downloaded, on TVs and on other platforms such as smartphones, tablets, game consoles.

Contrary to perception by some pundits and analysts, Knowledge Networks says that the growth can be identified across all the age demographics, with Generations X (ages 32 to 45) and Y (ages 13 to 31) and Baby Boomers (ages 46 to 54)alike all increasing their OTT viewing. However, this growth does actually differ markedly among the different groups. Compared with Baby Boomers, Gen Y was seen to be almost four times as likely to report weekly mobile video viewing (30% versus 8%), and they are twice as likely to watch streaming video weekly (56% for Gen Y, 28% for Boomers).

The research found that in the 13-to-54 age group, monthly use of an alternative method for viewing TV programs or movies grew by over one-third in a year, from 26% in 2010 to 35% in 2011. This includes content streamed or downloaded to view on a TV, computer, laptop, smartphone, iPod Touch, or tablet such as an iPad.

Also within the 13-to-54 population, monthly use of any digital service connected to a TV rose almost 50% during the year, from 13% to 19%. Video viewing on Internet-connected videogame consoles increased from 6% to 12%, and video viewing on mobile devices doubled to 10%. Use of a streaming video OTT rental service such as Netflix rose similarly from 13% to 26%.

"The number of platforms that account for significant video viewing is approaching a dozen," said David Tice, VP and Group Account Director at Knowledge Networks. "This poses a variety of challenges -- in measurement, accountability, planning, and targeting. But every challenge contains an opportunity to find new efficiencies in reaching key audiences, adding relevance to ads. Video is increasingly un-tethered, but the core elements of the video experience, and the rich context it provides, remain remarkably intact."