Cords not being cut as Ericsson reveals social TV finding louder voice

Joseph O'Halloran | 29-08-2012

Despite a dazzling array of alternatives to pay-TV services, people are simply not cord-cutting and are instead increasingly getting more from their services, notably making more use of social TV, according to the first data from Ericsson ConsumerLab's TV & Video Consumer Trend Report.

The survey—based on data collected in Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, Italy, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UK and the US—found fundamentally that even though viewing behaviours and demands are changing, only 7% of consumers indicate a willingness to reduce their TV subscriptions in the future.

Instead of looking to cut out TV services, viewers are actually more willing pay more for an enhanced viewing experience: 41% of consumers say they are willing to pay for TV and video content in HD. More than half of consumers want to be able to choose their own TV and video content, with on demand capability the most popular of the ‘would pay for’ services.

Commented Niklas Rönnblom, Ericsson ConsumerLab Senior Advisor: "As the number of screens and services increase, people are eagerly looking for an easy-to-use, aggregated service that can bring everything together. It should allow consumers to mix on-demand and linear TV including live content, facilitate content discovery, leverage the value of social TV and provide seamless access across devices."

The new behaviour that stood out most in the survey was social TV which was revealed to being a mass-market phenomenon. Over three-fifths (62%) of consumers use social media while watching TV on a weekly basis, an increase of 18% points in one year. By gender, 66% of women engage in this behaviour, compared with 58% of men. Encouragingly, as a pointer to the industry who will be keen to monetise such patterns of behaviour, a quarter used such social media to discuss what they are watching while they are watching it.

The rapid general uptake of mobile devices, specifically tablets and smartphones, were key to the uptick in social media usage and of second and even third screen TV experiences. "Mobile devices are an important part of the TV experience, as 67% of consumers use smartphones, tablets, or laptops for TV and video viewing,” added Rönnblom. “Furthermore, 60% of consumers say they use on-demand services on a weekly basis. Watching TV on the move is growing in popularity, and 50% of the time spent watching TV and video on the smartphone, is done outside the home, where mobile broadband connections are facilitating the increase."

Read more: Cords not being cut as Ericsson reveals social TV finding louder voice | Rapid TV News