Study: 55% Drop in Viewers Who Prefer TV Sets

Viewers who prefer watching TV shows on TV sets plunged by 55% from 52% to 23%, according to a global survey of consumers conducted by Accenture.

In the U.S., the percentage fell to 25% from 59%.

Accenture says that an increasing number of consumers prefer to watch shows on laptops or desktops—42%, up from 32% in last year’s study—and smartphones—13%, up from 10%.

The trend has been going on for at least four years. In Accenture’s 2014 study, 65% of consumer preferred the TV set for viewing TV shows.

“The dominance of the TV set as the undisputed go-to entertainment device is ending,” said Gavin Mann, global managing director for Accenture’s broadcast business. “While a great number of people still watch plenty of TV shows on TV sets, our research uncovers a rapid acceleration in their preference for viewing on other digital devices—especially laptops, desktops and smartphones.”

In its report, "Winning Experiences in the New Video World," Accenture makes recommendations about how media companies should respond to shifts in consumer habits. Those include:

  • Identifying new ways to engage consumers with more-personalized video content across more types of screens;
  • Using more granular consumer data, segments and predictive analytics to help anticipate consumer preferences and find content they desire; and
  • Focusing more on their target audiences to identify exactly what content their viewers want to receive—and when, for how long and on what type of screen.

The online study was conducted between October and November, 2016, with 26,000 consumers in 26 countries. Accenture says the sample in each country was representative of the online population.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.