CES 2015: Video users expect more la carte entertainment by 2020

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 07 January 2015

The continued popularity of smart TVs and binge viewing is driving consumers' optimal viewing experience to be a mixture of la carte online TV and pay-TV services according to a global Irdeto survey.

The research was commissioned by Irdeto and conducted among a sample of over 4,700 adults in the US, UK, Australia, Singapore, India and Indonesia to understand and address consumer expectations around content consumption and future device usage. It found that just less than a fifth (18%) of US consumers are expecting to watch most content through pay-TV services versus 21% of UK consumers. In contrast 27% of US consumers expect to watch most content through Internet TV services like Netflix or Amazon Prime versus 11% in the UK.

As one would expect the research uncovered a number of key age demographic trends: two-fifths of 18-34-year-olds in the US expect to watch most content through online TV services by 2020, compared with 18% of 18-24-year-olds and 20% of 25-34-year-olds in the UK. For those who expect to watch most content through Internet TV by 2020, 39% in the US and 41% in the UK said that this is partly because they prefer to be able to watch multiple episode of a series at once, while 40% in the US and 39% in the UK also said that it would allow them to watch more content on multiple devices. Access from multiple devices and the ability to watch multiple episodes at once were found to be strong drivers among younger consumers, with 53% of US 18-34-year-olds citing more devices and 47% citing multiple episodes as their reasons for choosing Internet TV.

Whether a consumers' preference is for pay-TV or online TV services, the research suggests, said Irdeto, that user experience is crucial for those who expect to watch most content through Internet TV by 2020 41% in the US and UK cited it was because the user experience and recommendations were better. Of those who expect to watch more content on pay-TV, 56% in the US and 45% in the UK think the user experience is better.

Other regional differences appeared in what will be the most popular connected devices. Just over half (52%) of US, respondents own or plan to own a smartphone, followed by tablets (36%), games consoles (26%) and smart TVs (17%). In the UK, smart TVs were the device that more people plan to buy than any other, with 13% saying they plan to buy such a device smart TV in the next year, followed by tablets (13%) and dongles that plug into a TV, such as Google ChromeCast (9%). In Asia Pacific, smartphones (63%) and tablets (46%) emerged as the top two devices that consumers own or plan to buy within the next year, while third on the list are smart TVs (34%).

"This survey shows that consumers expect a sophisticated, hybrid and personalised entertainment experience by 2020," said Irdeto senior vice president, sales and marketing, Richard Scott, commenting on the survey. "These trends in binge watching, Internet TV and connected devices are a driving force for pay-TV operators to aggressively evolve their offerings in the next several years. A compelling multiscreen offering is already available in many markets around the globe, but it is crucial that broadcasters, operators and OTT providers ensure they are staying ahead of consumer demand."