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Summertime, and the TV Is Streaming

Call it the summer of streaming. Anywhere, anytime TV viewing is in full swing as consumers use summer downtime to catch up on newer episodes of current shows or binge on must-watch series they may have missed.

But living rooms are far from the only place that this viewing is happening. More consumers are buying connected devices this summer to watch their favorite content on their own terms.

IBB Consulting recently surveyed 400 online consumers who are planning to purchase a connected device for streaming this summer. The survey uncovered some interesting insights around exactly how they plan to use these devices. Results are positive for pay TV offerings and for TV everywhere in particular.

Perhaps the most revealing stat to come out of the findings is that 63% of consumers will buy devices to watch paid content. Most significantly, 23% of consumers who said they intend to purchase a device plan to access TV everywhere content with their new gadget. Not surprisingly, subscription video-on-demand also remains popular, with 44% of consumers planning to watch that content.

The number of consumers buying an additional device or replacing an existing streaming device is high, accounting for 49% of intended purchases. This speaks largely to the continued increased engagement we expect content owners will see when serving viewers on these platforms.

In addition to growth in the number of devices in the household, we’re also seeing great diversity in the different types of devices being purchased:

• New streaming users are more likely to buy connected TVs as their first streaming device, with 23% choosing that option;

• Consumers who use a connected box or stick are more likely (36%) to buy another box or stick instead of another device type;

• People who already use a connected TV are narrowly more likely (24%) to buy a tablet as their next device; and

• People who have a tablet are more likely (31%) to just buy another tablet.

These findings speak to how important it is that operators and programmers continue to invest in planning for not only video delivery, but also engagement, across screen types. Given users’ willingness to pay for access, there is also a directive for the industry to focus on even better authenticated pay TV experiences on these connected devices.

The data from IBB’s survey also highlights the personalization opportunities that exist around streaming consumption. Given that tablets are one of the most popular devices being purchased, media companies will have the opportunity to engage with specific people in a household in a very personal way.

The bottom line is that there is increasingly more opportunity than ever to grow engagement, drive tune-in and experiment with new ad strategies.

Jonathan Weitz is a partner and Sophia Trupos is a consultant at IBB Consulting, which works with programmers and MSOs on efforts around TV Everywhere, online and mobile video, advertising, social TV and viewership/engagement enhancement.