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BizReport : Trends & Ideas : April 11, 2013


62% of Americans watching TV in their own time binge view

Television viewers in America are throwing off the chains of television schedules and watching their choice of programming at their leisure, according to new data from Harris Interactive.

by Helen Leggatt

Organizing an evening around what's on the box isn't something most Americans worry about in today's digital environment. More than three-quarters (78%) of Americans now use a variety of technologies and services that enable them to watch television content on their own schedule.

The top methods of watching television now include on-demand services (41% divvied up between cable (34%) and satellite (9%)), TiVo/DVRs/other recording devices (37%), Netflix streaming services (30%), renting/purchasing/borrowing on DVD (29%) and Hulu/Hulu Plus (22%).

Those who watch television shows on their own schedule prioritize their viewing, and this behavior is most prevalent among the under-40s. The main reason for watching one show ahead of another is that it is the favorite (81%) although other reasons include being keen to find out what happens next (53%) and not wanting to get behind and risk seeing spoilers (37%).

The ability to watch television content whenever they want also drives some viewers (62%) to "binge viewing", a phenomena whereby hours can be spent watching episode after episode of a show. However, overall viewers watched such marathon runs on a television (73%) with half (50%) bingeing on old shows and 40% bingeing on current season's shows.

"For advertisers, the clearest impact is that some of these viewers will be taking in contact on platforms beyond their reach, such as Netflix and Amazon's VOD services," said Harris Interactive in a recent announcement. "Content producers, meanwhile, have both positive and negative implications to explore. On the upside, the ability to quickly catch up on past seasons of existing shows, particularly ones with complex storylines, could give more viewers the opportunity to jump into new episodes without confusion. On the downside, viewers watching when they choose, not when it airs, can play havoc with ratings. Ultimately, TV programming needs to turn a profit in order to justify its production. Looking ahead, the TV and advertising industries will need to find increasing ways to embrace the binge and make the when-I-want it trend work for them."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: advertising, content providers, DVR, on demand, television trends, U.S., VOD










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