Headlines about cord-cutting and movies viewed on mobile phones might have some in the industry ready to bury their television sets, but they might want to put the shovels down because a new consumer study found that TV isn’t dead yet.
It’s true that digital services are on the rise (with 72% of adults ages 18 to 34 using a smartphone to watch content at least once a week), but television is still the top-rated device for the broader population of households. In fact, according to the Digital Strategy Study, half of all SVOD viewing is done through an internet-connected TV.
The study was recently released by California-based consulting firms Manatt, Phelps & Phillips and Vorhaus Advisors, and is a consumer survey examining of the current media and content consumption landscape with a focus on connected TV, SVODs, mobile and eSports. More than 2,000 people over the age of 18 were surveyed for the study in June 2018.
And while the survey found the TV set itself might be safe, that doesn’t mean consumers are satisfied with linear content, which is good new for the upcoming glut of streaming services from the likes of Disney, Apple and Warner Bros. Consumers reported being likely to buy up to another 1.6 SVOD services beyond what they already have, with 74% of online users currently subscribed to a service. Of those currently subscribed to an SVOD, 60% reported using Netflix. Amazon was the second most-used platform with 41%, followed by Hulu at 32%.
When it comes to choosing a platform, respondents rated being able to watch specific content (50%), original content considered to be must-see TV (43%), and offerings from a specific genre like anime or sports (33%) as the most important factors
Of those leaving linear television behind, nearly half of respondents said that cost is their top reason for cord-cutting. More cord cutters (44%) reported they would switch to an SVOD than switch to another pay TV service (25%). However, 35% of cord cutters said they would be interested in a “skinny bundle” as an alternative to traditional cable packages.
When it comes to livestreaming, eSports was named the sixth most popular content type (behind breaking news and traditional sports games). Of those watching eSports, 48% reported preferring an ad-supported model that lets them watch for free. And the business is set to get even bigger as nearly half of respondents said they watch more eSports now than they did six months ago and 43% said they expected to spend even more time watching eSports in the next six months.
And while the survey focused on adults, the kids industry has certainly taken notice of the eSports craze. Hasbro’s program Magic: The Gathering Arena contributed significant growth to the company’s revenue in Q1 2019, and both Nickelodeon (with the NickX platform) and Disney (with Nintendo Switch Family Showdown) have recently launched e-sporting efforts.