Device proliferation, TV everywhere driving viewership spike
| 13 September 2014
A new Viacom survey has revealed that the proliferation of video-capable devices and sources is having a positive impact on viewership and fandom.

In its Getting With the Program: TV’s Funnels, Paths and Hurdles survey, the US broadcaster — which this week announced the completion of its £450 million acquisition of UK broadcaster Channel 5 — found that compared with the situation a few years ago, the vast majority (79%) of viewers say having more ways of accessing shows helps them try more programmes and 78% wouldn’t have become fans of some shows if they couldn’t watch in multiple ways. Multiscreen viewership was also found to be connected to a stronger preference for live TV and network loyalty.

Nearly half (47%) of multiscreen users said it was important to watch their favourite shows live, versus 23% of single-screeners; 45% of multi-screeners are loyal to a few networks, compared with 28% of single-screeners; and 45% of multiscreen viewers wouldn’t give up pay-TV because they rely on DVR, versus 22% of single-screeners.

Looking at the increasingly important aspect of discovery, in-person word of mouth was the leading source for show discovery at 90%, closely followed by TV promos at 85% and word of mouth online or via social media at 78%. Nearly a quarter usually discussed the show online and via social media.

“The goal of our research was to uncover the often complex paths audiences take to discovering and becoming fans of our content,” commented Colleen Fahey Rush, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer, Viacom Media Networks. “What we’re seeing is that the myriad of sources and devices has taken fandom to new heights, making TV a bigger part of our audiences’ lives than ever before.”